Today started late (7!!!) and all the people at Lake Shore House rolled ourselves over to Shaw's for all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, hash browns, sausage and bacon. I also enjoyed 25 cups of coffee. I really miss that stuff. Almost everyone except the Sobros and I planned on staying another night in Monson. Around 10, I started getting restless and said my goodbyes to all the great people I've been hiking and living with for the past week. We had gotten really close, so I just had to promise them all I'd see them down the trail. I hope I do.
Walking outside, I thumbed along the road hoping to hitch the three miles to the trailhead. After a few failures, a man in a truck pulled up and I hopped in the bed. I was soon on the trail again! It was a late start but the relaxation was worth it. I stopped for lunch at Horseshoe Canyon lean-to, where I found Big Swirl tucked up in his sleeping bag. He was enjoying a short day. A 17-year-old section hiker named Switchback popped in and let me know that the 9 miles to the next shelter was easy and that I could get there tonight. And I'll be darned if a high schooler didn't convince me to double my mileage.The most magic of all trail magic happens when the trail angel doesn't stick around to see the joy they are bestowing on hiker folk. Near a road crossing, I found a cooler filled with water, beer, and soda. Guess which one I took. The only small downside is that I have to carry an empty Miller High Life bottle until Caratunk in a couple days. Not bad! My nightcap beverage is warming up this otherwise empty shelter as I listen to moose calling to each other across the lake. I still haven't seen one!