From Didier (trail name Otter): Sunday was butterfly day, not because we felt particularly light but because we saw more of them than I’ve seen in the last 15 years. And it was perfectly in sync with the day, sunny, just enough mud to keep your eyes on the trail, fewer bugs. Matthieu and I crossed very nice forests as opposed to the last two days where we felt like we were passing through warehouses of all kinds of trees. This time the forests looked like forests, birds singing, sun shining through, we even saw pheasants which would have made a nice dinner if I had more than my index to point at it. Trail was nice without a large elevation, so we pushed to Little Rock Shelter, hiking 10 miles and still arriving before three. Great location so fortunately we were there before anybody else and got our spots in the shelter which ended up very crowded. The shelter is on a lake so not only was it very nice but we were also able to scare the fish and unbalance the local ecosystem by putting our dirty feet in the water.
Today (Monday) was the most challenging in terms of distance and elevation and actually we made it faster than we planned while still keeping to our plan. So it could be celebration day, although there will be several since we know now that Rick and Ted will come back on the trail tomorrow. We started with a good sweat to tackle Bear Mountain which, as somebody rightly wrote in the hut log, is unbearable. Straight up, straight down, very rocky and of course muddy. No bears though but that might be because we haven’t showered for a few days. We arrived to a tiny hut, where there is a real spring, with real potable water. You can trust me, it tasted like wine. Lucky to be the first here because there are only 6 spots and it looks like it might rain, so no hammock in the woods. Tomorrow we’ll have Rick and Ted back. Celebration day.