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This was by far one of the most intense days I’ve had yet. The climb up South Kinsman Mountain and then North Kinsman Mountain was absolutely crazy! I simply let my trekking poles hang from my wrists as I used my hands and feet to pull myself up the rocks where were sometimes simply vertical rock faces with maybe a crack wide enough to jam a foot in and push myself up. It was so slow going that my pace dropped to just around a mile per hour. Once at the top of the mountain though, the spectacular views were worth it. Still, when I got to camp at Kinsman Pond Shelter, I was beat. I’m now in the area where the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) operate and they have caretakers at the shelters and campsites and charge you to stay at these sites. For thru-hikers, they charge us $10 at the first site and then give us a card that will allow us to pay only $5 per campsite as well as give us a soup and two baked goods from any of the huts. It looks like I’ll be dealing with campsites that charge until just after entering Maine. Tomorrow I have what I’m calling a “setup” day. I will only be doing 7.5 miles to a campsite just before Franconia Ridge. There’s a good chance of rain and possibly a thunderstorm so I want to get to camp early and I also don’t want to be on the ridge above treeline if there’s a thunderstorm. The next day after that is supposed to be sunny and clear so that will be perfect for me to walk Franconia Ridge.