Morning by the creek was cold and damp. Garbelly woke up just as the sun threatened to come over the horizon. He yawned and then reached down and removed the sock on his left foot. Expecting the worse, he saw some dark purple bruising but was able to move it back and forth without much trouble. We moved slowly to pick up camp. It was earlier than we usually were up, motivated to get to town. Once we made the final moves to leave, a low grumbly growl came from Milo. Two women dressed in T-shirts, pants and snow gaiters came walking up. To each other they chatted in French but to us they asked which car was ours down in the parking lot. We replied with “none of them.” They were headed up the Crockers but were currently heading the wrong way. We showed them on our maps and together we headed back to the white blazes.
The climb up the first Crocker was immediate, our sleepy state jarred alert by our heart rate bringing to wake up. We crossed over areas of land slide where we jumped rock to rock moving quickly to trick our balance.
We descended down to the saddle before climbing up the second Crocker, a less intimidating climb having taken care of most of the elevation gain from camp. Then we began our long descent down to the highway. We passed an alarming amount of Southbounders plus a number of day hikers.
Trail shot us out at a trailhead and from there we began to hitch. This place was difficult because there was not an adequate shoulder on the side from which we needed to hitch. So we stood sticking our thumbs out on the side with the pull off, making eye contact with the cars heading in the right direction. It took about an hour before a car heading in the right direction finally stopped to pick us up. We had plenty of offers just headed into Carabassett Valley instead of Stratton.
A guy named Chris finally picked us up and dropped us off next to Frotters Market. We grabbed lunch at the White Wolf Inn, voted high on Garbelly’s burger list and Critter’s veggie burger list. We also had the specialty side, fried frons.
Next we began our walk to the Spillover Motel. Town miles are the hardest, and after our stay in Stratton, Critter would rack up an additional 5 miles from walking back a forth to purchase resupply from Frotter’s and do laundry.
Milo and a Garbelly were on strict rest orders.
When Milo finally woke up in need of going outside, we headed out back of the motel. Out of nowhere came running up a few chickens. They took a liking to Milo and followed him around as he marked his spots.
For dinner, we walked to Backstraps for pizza. And we saw the guy whom recommended it to us when we were in Rangeley. We also saw a handful of southbounders hut by the time we were done the streets were quiet. We walked back to the motel and went quickly to bed.