i began my trip home by 2:30pm, after rifling through my stacks of homemade mix CD's and setting up the garmin GPS for a route back to cambridge. the estimate arrival time was 4:40pm, not bad, but i was afraid of hitting some traffic even though i was driving in the opposite direction of rush hour congestion. there was definitely more cars compared to when i came up early monday morning. driving 93 south seems like a non-stop series of leapfrog, passing one slow car after another. the closer i got to boston, the more cars there were, but i was never stuck in traffic. i got nervous and got off at exit 32 (medford center), even though the GPS told me to take 31. i just got back onto the highway and took the next exit. i didn't finally get home until 5pm.
i've found that the best feeling of any trip is coming home. being able to relax, recuperate, the familiar, all that's good. the house was empty but there was a faint fishy smell. i stripped out of my dirty clothes and took a hot shower. that also gave me a chance to evaluate where exactly on my legs was i hurting. so pretty much on the top of my thighs and my calves. i also had a small contusion on the inner arch of my left foot that i got on monday when i misstepped and crunched down into a small notch pressing my arch into a rock. it didn't hurt, but it looked more serious than it actually was. i also had a bruise on my left knee, not sure how i got that, maybe from kneeling down to take a photo and landing on it wrong. my toes were also a little sore, but the aches were minor compared to some of the other pains. my arms at the shoulders were also a little sensitive, maybe from carrying the backpack and the camera.
john went back to flume gorge. the threat of rain meant a lot of tourists stayed away so there weren't as many people as earlier. he got some great photos, it's definitely worth visiting despite the $16 admission fee (consider it a maintenance charge) and the potential for crowds of people.
GC came home in the evening and made what i thought was fish again but he was stewing his beef chunks which takes hours. i had some ramen for dinner, simple and delicious. i spent the rest of the night sorting through my photos. if you asked me after the hike if i ever wanted to come back to the white mountains, i would've told you no, but after looking at the photos, i would definitely do the franconia ridge trail again. if nothing else, then at least to take better photos, as i found most of my photos didn't quite capture what it's like to be walking along the ridge.