Lums Pond State Park

Sunday morning really started off beautifully. I was heading over to brush my teeth in the communal bathroom area, when the moon just caught my eye. Spring is close, but this was definitely a Winter-looking morning.

It was cold, too! 27F when I climbed out of my tent. My brand new Walmart One Person Backpacking Tent! I’ll get back to the tent later.

I had arrived on Saturday around 2pm, after running around like a maniac, getting supplies at the last minute. An excited maniac actually. Our thru-hiker South African friend, Kelly, called and said she wanted to join me!

I was a little nervous. Kelly is probably 100 times more experienced at this sort of thing than I am. I called Yolande and she calmed me down. She’s good like that.

I got the camp all set up and walked the short distance over to the lake.

Beautiful, Yes? I camped here in about 1978 with my daughters, Jennie and Marta. It was a treat to return.

I messed around a little with my blue tooth shutter and spider phone stand and Kelly arrived!

Ah. There’s Kelly looking happy to be back in the woods and me peering through my bifocals, trying to THINK the blue tooth into action! Ha!

We made a fire, cranked up “Spootnik,” (my little green Weber) grilled steaks, and steamed some fresh asparagus. It really tasted good.

We talked and enjoyed the fire until it was just too cold, to stay up.

Kelly said, “It’s “Hiker Midnight” Doug!” That means it’s around 9pm. When you are out on the AT, after walking up and down and over stuff all day, 9pm feels like midnight!

I slept a little cold.

Me, I’m always up before the sun. My friend Kelly slept in a little. She deserves to. She is working hard and long hours. I am living retirement the way my dad used to describe it. “Most days I do just about nothing, and I don’t start until noon!” he used to say. God Bless him. My Dad was such a good guy. I’m trying to pay that forward these days.

Off for a hike to test my foot.

A quick shot with my incision and shiner showing.

And another.

Some humans are meant to be in the woods. Silly is such a good way to be. Isn’t it?

I only take photos like this when I am on a trail. Really happy. Or in good company. This time I got both!

Kelly picked out dinner that night. Hot Italian Sausages and asparagus again. Oh and for the starter, avocado! She cut it in half and I dug my thork in. My first real taste. Loved it.

Looks like someone else’s hand there doesn’t it! A ghost?

There. That’s better.

Kelly studied for an Anatomy Exam the next morning while I cooked and tried to be quiet.

We settled in by the fire.

A really cool slo-mo by Artiste Kelly! Cool stuff!

More fire and conversation.

Wow.

What a great day and day’s end.

See that little tent? I think I’ll save that story I said I’d get back to, for another time. I’m tired.

I slept warm in there with two sleeping bags around me and my down jacket on, hood up.

Kelly two bagged it both nights. Smart girl.

I was up today at my usual time. Greeted by the same moon. I hurried around the corner to see if it was there. Where else would it be???

Well, Kelly was off to her exam, (said she did fine) and I went back to break camp. Love breaking camp.

Didn’t love this though:

This:

To this.

I got a little sad. Then happy. Isn’t it beautiful when you can get sad and feel that, and then get happy, and feel that? All in the span of a few minutes. I used to just get sad and stay sad.

I am really living these days.

I called Landi and headed home with my list! 😊 Home is a happy place, too. I am one grateful man.

Just Doug

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