Southbounders are quite different than Northbounders. Stands to reason. Those who left Georgia, some in early February, are not seeing Katahdin, a distant view, but attainable in 4 days. Southbounders are nursing knees, leaving trash, lightening monstrous loads.
I have to hand it to these southbounders, though. The toughest trail, roots from hell, mosquitoes chomping on you despite multiple layers of 100 % deet.
I've seen groups geared up just for the 100 Mile Wilderness. Some from Quebec, some boy scout groups, some couples. Its been on their bucket list.
Now in case you're wondering, like I was as a northbounder in 2002, why there are Roads in a Wilderness, they informed me its not really a wilderness, that's only marketing.
Well, works for me.
Anyways, met and chatted with Skywalker, or Bill Walker, multiple thru hiker and famed author.
He was 3 miles from Chairback Lean-To, I was heading down to my private dry camp, two miles in the opposite direction, in rain....sopping wet. You Appalachian Trailers know how that is. No one wants to back track.
Friends in Millinocket are telling everyone to keep an eye out for Brawny, the ridgerunner, so its been fun being called by name by total strangers.
But, seriously, are there any strangers among AT hikers? Maybe only friends who've never met, yet.