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Day 143: White Mountain Training

Summary: Gifford Woods State Park: 1703.9 The Lookout: 1718.1 Total Miles: 14.2 Waking up in a state park campsite was strange. No leaves to shake out of the tent or slugs on the big net or mud from any morning dew. We could almost pretend we were out for a long weekend and would soon return to our couches. We enjoyed a slow breakfas. Duck Fart and Tyler took advantage of the campground's coin operated showers.  

When we did get hiking, we made good time down to Thundering Falls, but soon after we met our first climb. Then we met our second climb and so on. We feel the mini mountains and hills are good training for our longer climbs, but we think we would prefer long climbs than constantly changing from ascend to descend. It's hard to constantly adjust our muscles.  

We stopped at a shelter for lunch. The first time in about 1,700 miles, we caught up with our long lost friend Tenacious. We met Tenacious at mile 20 (as Tinklebell) and haven't seen her since Hot Springs where she had passed us while Emily rested her ankle. Tenacious kept pushing mile after mile, never too fast, through tendonitis, insane foot blisters, and all other imaginable foot injuries it seemed. But we finally caught her. She was headed to the Loookout for the night which would be a little short for us, but we eventually decided it made more sense.

*Tenacious and her new shoes

During lunch, we all contributed to Emily's mosquito graveyard as we, fairly desensitized at this point, swatted something like twenty mosquitoes and left them in neat rows in the shelter. We may finally be losing it. After continued ups and downs, we made it to the Lookout. A privately owned cabin that the owners kindly leave open to hikers who, thankfully, look like they respect it for the most part. There was some minor tagging inside, which bummed us out. The views from the top were magnificent, even if they revealed incoming thunderheads. One hiker was so confident that he actually set up his mattress on the lookout tower above. It made scaling the ladder and looking around somewhat awkward.

The view was stunning. We made dinner on the cabin's porch while we watched the lightning in the distant thunserheads. 

Duck Fart and Patch headed into the cabin to sleep, but even four walls and a roof couldn't tempt us. We are over shelters and the snorefests.

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