Day 16 would only require me to make it down from the ridge without breaking anything important. Just a few miles, but some slippery slabs and some steep sections. I tried to stay focused on the trail, but the views started to distract me a bit.
When I hit the turn off for the Mt Crawford spur there was no hesitation. I’d been up there before and knew the views were worth the effort. Even the legs agreed that it was a good idea!
The day before had been a rain out and I was still pretty wet after walking through wet trees all morning. None of that mattered. Not the broken pack, not my sore feet, nope, in that moment it was all worth it just to be on that mountain alone. I had come all this way, camping alone every night on trail and seeing only one NOBO Cohos hiker headed the other way. I still had a few miles to the end, but this was the real celebration. Definitely glad the legs agreed to take me up there!
Then it was done. The thing I didn’t really think I could do and definitely had a few doubts about in the middle of doing, had been done. My new hiking shirts looked like my old hiking shirts. My pack was dead or at least in need of hospice care, but somehow I had managed to walk from Canada to Crawford Notch on the mighty Cohos trail. Not bad for an old fat man and the season is just getting started!