Though my campsite was indeed comfortable and shielded from the wind, I did not rise as early as hoped.
I packed my things and continued up Little Baldpate and down the north side of the mountain.
After about 5 miles I came to East B Hill Road. Just south of there I ran in to the hiker I had chatted with yesterday. We made our way to the parking lot together and sat crossed legged on the road. I pulled out some instant rice that I had soaking in the side of my pack and pondered. The other hiker had plans of hitching in to Andover. I was tempted. A car passed and I stuck out my thumb. “Andover is in the other direction”, the man called out from his pick-up truck. “I’ll take you there if you are still here on my way back!”.
Soon the man headed back our way and we hoisted our bags and bodies in to the bed of the truck and took off down the road, wind in hair, trees blurring in to a roadside sea of green.
Andover certainly is small. We were dropped off at the general store. We placed our packs against the row of plastic booths that provided a place for storefront dining. I wandered in and grabbed a wire basket and weaved through the aisles. Decisions, decisions.
I was pleased to discover that they had instant rice and plain dehydrated potatos.
When inquiring of the cost of coffee, I was delighted as the lady at the counter stated that it was too late for her to concern herself with the coffee, and granted me a cup for free.
I sat at the bench and sipped the delicious, hot free beverage. It was the afternoon. The sun was hot and powerful, the sky cloudless, the town covered with more pavement than trees. I shifted in my seat uncomfortably, scooting this way, then that, trying to tuck my body beneath a shadow of shade.
It was time to get back to the tree-covered trail. The two of us hitched back quickly without problem.
Back on trail, we came to Surplus Pond. We stopped in admiration. I watched as a solitary cloud floated slowly in to view, reflecting off the cool blue waters.
The other hiker went ahead. I took my time. I came to a nice tent-site just south of Wyman Mountain, and slept there for the night.