Took a “hike up- jog down” approach to the day, wanting to be conservative about pace due to the remoteness of the trail and the solo travel. Started up Bald mountain (a mountain I have hiked before) which has a moderate but steady ascent. At the top, the trail briefly becomes a mixture of sand and rock reminiscent of a beach. It was foggy at the top, so no real views (my husband and I joke that hiking with no views is “introspective hiking”) At the junction with the west ridge trail, headed north. The slightly over-grown trail winds through different micro-biomes... for a while the trail would be covered with pine needles, and then suddenly you are in a fern forest. Took a quick break at mile 7. Around mile 8 (?) was a small bog and lots of moose scat, did lots of bear/moose calls to avoid a surprise encounter. Headed up to the Glastonbury summit and fire tower, clouds had partly cleared so some views were had. On the way back down from summit (to connect with the south-bound AT) filled water bottles at spring near the shelter and passed my first hikers of the whole day. The day stayed relatively cool and comfortable thanks to the moderate cloud cover. I used spring energy gels and a few other snacks to fuel the day, with great success. The descent felt relatively quick, but I felt myself slow significantly around mile 19. The last stretch of the loop is route 9 and then gravel road, which was less forgiving in terms of heat/sun exposure but thankfully was only about two miles. I am not the fastest runner, but this was a very fun route and I could see myself doing it again and potentially faster when I have a GPS device that can send emergency messages if need-be. I started the day with the question: can I do this loop? And it was answered affirmatively.
7h 59m 31s