Fiftieth day T 8/25/20

START:  ME Rt. 15     2 am
FINISH: West Branch Ponds Rd. (Logan Brook Rd.)   11:50 pm
44.7 miles       21:50      2.0 mph
2,133.8 total miles  42.8 mpd average
Misty, moist pre-morning; torrential thunderstorm mid-morning; clear in afternoon and evening

What a way to celebrate one’s 35th birthday!
Another ‘statement’ day from Mercury – rebounding from the shortened finish of yesterday. It was a ‘must’ day if she was to finish under 52 days.
She went into the misty, moist darkness of slate country filled with roots, rocks and three stream fords. Then she tackled the rugged Barren-Chairback range being welcomed by a torrential downpour from a thunderstorm on the ascent. Hikers up higher reported hail as this front was bringing in colder temps.
She then forded another river to start the last 14.3 mountainous section at 5pm. Alone atop the exposed Whitecap Mt. as the swirling winds enveloped her, she continued resolutely downward to a relieved Jupiter – her two lights in the darkness bringing tears to his eyes.
The next 70 miles have only two ‘small mountains’ capped off by the ‘mightiest mountain’ – the enormous massif called Katahdin rising one mile above the plain.
At 21 hours and 50 minutes – her longest day at the office (with about 8.5 miles of night hiking alone in some of the most rugged, remote parts of the 100-mile ‘wilderness’.
Jupiter thought of a t-shirt for her stating, “I just walked almost 45 mountainous miles in almost 22 hours and all I got was this stupid sausage toe!”

Who is Mercury?

Liz Derstine, trail name “Mercury”, is a distance runner, endurance hiker, writer, and musician residing in Boston, MA. She holds the fastest known times for a woman on the Appalachian Trail (supported, northbound), Long Trail (self-supported), and Pinhoti Trail (self-supported).

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