I left Rutland alone in the middle of a storm. This was my usual practice because on rainy days the rooms at hostels typically filled up. I heard at least twenty hikers were approaching the Yellow Deli, so I hopped a public transit bus in my rain gear and headed back to trail. The bus driver was very nice and left me right by the side of the road where the AT crosses instead of 3 miles down trail. I really didn’t want to miss those three miles if I could help it. It was strange to have a bus stop in the middle of “nowhere.” It was fun to live in the nowhere.

Hiking the next mountain was muddy. I slid on my butt several times coming down the hill towards Mountain Meadows where my resupply was waiting. I had planned to stop in Rutland, but I was particularly excited to stay at Mountain Meadows because they had a lake with canoes and hot tubs. In my mind, before hiking, I had imagined having such a fun time there.

I stopped at a shelter in the campground just before the resort and hid from the rain. After about five minutes a ranger came over and invited me down to the main shelter, but it was extra walking, so I packed my gear and made for Mountain Meadows.

I looked out over the lake in the pouring rain. The canoes were flipped over and the place was deserted. I took off my wet gear and traded my muddy shoes for camp shoes then went inside to find my box. I was dripping all over.

I had to wait awhile for the owner to come back from town. While I waited I poked around and found the sad shed they were using for thru-hikers. It was a teenie tiny storage shed with no windows. With friends, on a nice day, this might have been fun.

I packed my gear and decided to finish my day in the rain. It let up a little, and I was already soaked. I walked onward to climb a rather steep mountain after a beautiful view of a waterfall. I stopped at a nice shelter with a dreamy water source. The shelter was packed with elders, so I tried out my new tent for the first time! It looked like a spaceship. Thanks for the tent Dad! ❤

Later in the evening I met Rocket Turtle and his sister who I would see off and on until the middle of the White Mountains. And to my great surprise, Yonder wandered into camp. He wanted to make it to the Lookout farm for the meteor shower on the 12th. This was exciting news for me after a long, strange day. This marks the beginning of my long journey hiking with Yonder. We camped together almost everyday until September 25th.

While we were making dinner in the twilight, I lit an incense to rid us of our pesky, flying friends. I set the cone incense on the log next to me and told Yonder, “Hey, I put an incense there…DON’T SIT ON IT.”

The fire went out, so I got up to poke at it and sat down directly on my incense. I jumped up and yelped. A new hole in my long johns…right on the butt. We laughed for a bit about it. When I wear those pants I still notice the little stitch I made to close the hole; it still makes me laugh.


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