Archive for the ‘Appalachian Trail’ Category

Last State

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

9/2/12 – 1903 miles
We made it to Maine!

After a good rest in Gorham, NH, we hit the trail this morning at 6:15. A friend of the Troverts, Susan and Kleenex’s sister Allison gave us rides to the parking lot and carted our packs .7 miles of AT road walk where we picked them up and hiked into the woods. The trail was not easy today. All in all we covered 17 miles and climbed two prominent mountains. Mt Success was particularly steep and an early rain made everything slippery. Everyone slipped at least once today but Kleenex fell on her side crossing a rock face and skinned her elbow pretty bad. X cleaned it up at the shelter the best she could but the fall will probably make Kleenex sore tomorrow.

Tonight everyone is in the shelter, Carlo Col, but me. I’m in my tent which will be warmer and safer – the Noravirus is going around and one person in the shelter is already sick.

Gorham, NH

Friday, August 31st, 2012

8/31/22 – 1886 miles
I guess technically we are still in the White Mountains. As hard as they were we are not done with rugged climbs and descents yet. Everyone has heard of the White Mountain Presidential Range in New Hampshire but few know how difficult the Mahoosucs and Bigelows in southern Maine are. Mahoosuc Notch is said to be the most difficult mile on the AT, traverseing a deep ravine filled with automobile sized boulders. I’m looking forward to it.

Tonight I’m in a motel in Gorham, NH. We arrived early this afternoon and will zero tomorrow. Kleenex is camping with her sister just outside of town and the Troverts and I each booked rooms. We are all suffering with sore knees and feet from the near vertical rock trail over Wildcat Mountain, especially attributed to a whopping big day of 14 miles yesterday. We made it to Imp Shelter only a short while before dark.

I will get to see Blue Sky tomorrow. He will go with us to breakfast and Walmart. It is good to know that friends are catching us but sad that they will move on ahead. We have less than 300 miles to go now.

Pinkham Lodge

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

8/29/12 – 1865 miles
Tonight we are at Pinkham Notch where the AMC has another lodge for tired hikers. We have only averaged 8 to 10 mile days through the White Mountains, making for some extra planning to arrive where we want to be next. We keep looking at the guide and plan to get someplace only 12 or 14 miles distant, totally reasonable a few weeks ago, but in this environment, not realistic.

Today’s weather was windy but clear. Everyone had on several layers of clothing as we started out. The wind and cold temperature on the mountain made us bundle into jackets and rain gear just to ward off the cold. NTrovert, Kleenex, and I all had socks on our hands. As we eventually reached lower altitude and found protection below treeline, the clothes came gradually off until we were once again in shorts and t-shirts.
Tomorrow we will climb up Wildcat Mountain, said by some to be just as tough as anything we’ve just been through. The weather is supposed to be good for the next few days, thankfully.

Madison Hut

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

8/28/12 – 1857 miles
Early in the evening the clouds rolled in and wind picked up in intensity. By morning there was a storm headed toward Mount Washington and we knew the day would be a challenging hike to our next destination Madison Hut. The trail was almost completely above treeline, leaving little protection from the wind. At times we could only see 20 yards in front of us. We picked our way cautiously along a rock boulded ridge, climbing higher into the void of mist, hanging onto anything we could grab, while the wind tried with all its might to blow us off the mountain.


After many hours of climbing, a brief rain and sleet shower soaked our clothes and made the rocks even harder to negotiate. Finally, the buildings on the summit of Washington came into view and we scurried inside to dry out and warm up. In all we spent about an hour eating, looking at exhibits, and warming our tired bodies.

The hike down from Mt. Washington was even worse, if you can believe it. The wind blew so hard it would rip the pack covers from our packs and several times we lost our balance and fell against some boulders when the wind would catch us without a brace. We found out later that the gusts were clocked up to 70 mph.

At about 6:00 pm we finally reached Madison Hut and booked bunks for the night. Because of the weather there were many cancellations and plenty of room for us. It was expensive but we were too tired to work for our stay. We enjoyed a good meal and slept safe.

Lake Of The Clouds

Monday, August 27th, 2012

8/27/12 – 1850 miles
The White Mountains have been quite a challenge. The terrain is so rugged that our mileage has dropped considerably. Each day we have several mountains to climb and the trail can be straight up on the assent or drop down a shear cliff on the descent. It takes all your energy and concentration to negotiate some places.

Tonight we are at Lake Of The Clouds Hut just below Mount Washington. It is spectacularly beautiful here. The hut is the largest of all huts in the Whites, holding something like 65 paying guests. Thruhikers have the option of buying a bed for $120 if there is room or working for stay if they will take you. We arrived too early to work so they offered us a place in the basement – called the dungeon – for $10 apiece. It really looks like a dungeon with dark, smelly bunks, a steal door, and odors of heating fuel and toilet. But at least we will be dry – it is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will go over Mount Washington come rain or shine. I’m still hiking with the Troverts and Kleenex, even though I have slowed down some, it’s alright. I enjoy their company and it feels safer to have others with me.