STICKMANS' JOURNAL...6/23/07...Saturday...Off to a late start again today, but really needed the rest. Left Cooper Brook Falls Lean-to @ 9:00 AM, and hit the trail running. It was a fast downhill most of the day, except for one bump on the trail...That would be Potaywadjo Ridge. It tops out at a little less that 1000 ft., with a base elevation at 500 ft. Now, I know that 500 ft. in elevation gain should not be too tough to hike, but we had just completed almost 10 miles at full steam when we hit it. It slowed us down somewhat, but we had good momentum, and were still moving at the top. After climbing a mile uphill, we crested, and we never hit the brakes on the way down. We coasted to a stop 4 ½ miles later, at WHITE HOUSE LANDING, located on the very beautiful Lake Pemaduncook, at 3:30 PM. By my figuring, we made 15 ½ miles in 6 ½ hours. Wow! That’s almost 2.4 MPH!!! Try doing that pace for 6 ½ hours over mud bogs, bog bridges, big rocks, little rocks, roots, and a combination of “all of the above”...with a 35 to 45 lb. pack on your back. I know that just sounded like bragging, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was only meant to illustrate. In fact, other hikers would just chuckle! For my age and condition, that’s hiking at a pretty good clip, but some of the younger guys are doing 20 plus miles. I talked to two of them yesterday, (when we did 17 miles), who said that they were going to end the day with 27 or 28 miles under their belts...now that is FAST! ...Myself, I like to look around once in awhile, just in case there is some wildlife nearby. Today I crested a small rise to find a doe deer on the other side, smack in the middle of the trail. We did a bit of a staredown, but she stood still long enough for me to get her picture. Last night, it was an owl. I heard its’ hoot, hoot, as I was walking my last mile into camp. I really had to look up and around a bit to find him, but I soon did, and I got his picture too...I know, that to complete this hike, I need to average 15 plus miles per day. I figure that I can make my daily hikes a little longer when I get a little further down South, but in this rugged terrain, you not only need to pay a lot of attention as to where you step, it is also nice to look around a bit too. I think some of the younger guys can sustain their pace, but some will burn out or be injured by it. At very least, they may not see the moose or bear that is less than 25 yards from them...So, okay, we get to WHITE HOUSE LANDING. We are actually on the opposite shore, and have to give a short blast on an air horn, so they know we are there. In a flash, we see the boat pull away from the dock, and speed over to get us. The owner, Bill has arrived with his son, and they jet us back to the LANDING. We get to meet with him and his wife, Linda for a bit, then it is off to the bunkhouse, off to the showers, and finally, off to the lodge, where Linda served us up her famous 1 lb. cheeseburgers with the works. Incredible! Of course, I also had her whip up a 14” hamburg and mushroom pizza, to take back to the bunkhouse. I shared it with Faithful, as we made calls to our families. Now, I’m almost full. I actually lost a few pounds, and am at about 192 lbs., and feeling better these days, as I lean out, muscle up, and the hiking gets a little easier. Thanks, Linda, for the excellent cooking, and great conversation. This is certainly a place that I would love to come back to!...Well, again, it has gotten late, about 10:20 PM, and breakfast is served up promptly at 8:00 AM. I guess I’d better close now, or miss my next meal! Love you all, God Bless!