Archive for the ‘Appalachian Trail’ Category


Monday, August 27th, 2012

8/24/12 – 1824 miles
The White Mountains are very rugged and strenuous but beautiful. Tonight we are camped at Garfield Ridge Shelter/Campsite, only 10 miles from Franconia Notch the starting place today. We have three tents set up on a wooden platform. Unfortunately, we are right beside a group of section hikers on the first day of their trip, excited to be in the mountains, ready to stay up late into the night talking and joking. But we are ready to go to sleep. When the sun goes down, it’s time for thruhikers to go to bed.

There were several mountains we crossed today: Haystack, Lincoln, Garfield, and Lafayette. They are not as high as the mountains out west, but the trail is very steep and rocky up and down each and every one. Our forward progress dropped to one mile per hour through much of the hike today.

We are pretty lucky – the weather has been perfect. There is no rain in the forecast for the next several days so we are reveling in the idea of getting through the Whites without dealing with slippery rocks, wet gear, and no views. Lets hope the weatherman is right.

Mount Moosilauke

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

8/22/12 – 1795 miles
Today was my first slack pack. I always told myself that I wanted to carry my pack the whole way, remain pure by not accepting help from anyone, but like a lot of things that have happened along the way, I changed my mind – the White Mountains changed my mind.

Troverts, Tall Oaf, Kleenex

Troverts, Tall Oaf, Kleenex

Last night, Dead Eye had a bout of diarrhea just after dinner that kept him up for part of the night. He thought it best to bow out of today’s hike instead of fighting the trail and running behind a tree every few minutes. It worked out that Kleenex’s sister, Allison was coming to spend a couple of days slack packing a few of us through the first two notches and mountain ranges, leaving her free during the day. Dead Eye went with Allison to secure motel rooms and store all our gear until we climbed Mount Moosilauke and descended a tortoise rock scramble at Kinsman Notch. Tomorrow, Allison will take five of us to the trail at Kinsman and then take Daryl (Dead Eye will be off the trail) to Lebanon for his flight home the next day.

Of has been wonderful to spend some time with Daryl on my hike. He moved along the trail like thruhikers that have been out here for months.I asked him if he felt cheated spending time with me because of the other hikers I hang out with. He said, “No, and in fact it has been fun meeting some of your friends.” I know he understands the type of hiker-family that develops on the trail. Just now that I’m getting to the mountains, I need some people to go through with me.

Hiker Bubble

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

8/20/12 – 1775 miles
Only 408 miles to go. All that is left now is the high mountains of NH and ME, and the long, swampy wilderness leading to Mount Katahdin. It still seems unreal that I will have walked for 2184.2 miles at the end.

Today Dead Eye and I hiked 16 miles over two heftty mountains. We are both feeling the tiredness of a good workout and the satisfaction of conquering a strenuous section of trail. We have sort of formed a group with a few other hikers. The Troverts, Kleenex, Tall Oaf, Tarzan and Jane, Dead Eye, and I, all hiked together today. Some went out ahead but we were all meeting up at mountain views and break spots, and are now camped by a stream near Wentworth, NH.

Tomorrow should be an easy day. We are all trying to work out details for a slack pack over Mt. Moosilauke on Wednesday, so we will take a short day into Glencliff, NH tomorrow. I haven’t slack-packed yet (having someone shuttle your pack to the next road) but it sounds like a good idea over a 4000 foot mountain.


Sunday, August 19th, 2012

8/19/12 – 1760 miles
It’s hard to find time to blog when the end of the day brings several tired hikers together to talk, joke, and plan for the next day. By the time I get to my tent where I’m alone and can write about the day, I’m often too tired to pick up my phone and compose my thoughts.

Yesterday was an interesting day. As Dead Eye and I came out of the woods into the outskirts of Hanover, we spotted Kleenex by a mailbox of one of the homes. She said that the people were looking for help stacking some firewood and in exchange would make us lunch. We decided to oblige and after working for about 45 minutes, not only got lunch but showers and laundry besides.

Hanover was a long road walk but eventually reached town and visited several stores for supplies. Dead Eye had to purchase new shoes because his old ones ripped out along one seam. I neaded supplies from the pharmacy and we all resupplied at the grocery store. Kleenex, Dead Eye, and I all spent the night at the first shelter only a mile out of town.

Today we walked 16 miles over a pretty tall mountain and are camped at the home of a trail angel named Bill. Bill is 85 years old and loves to talk to hikers. He has a cooler full of sodas for us and gives everyone ice cream. The girls also appreciate the use of the bathroom. Here tonight are: Kleenex, X & N Trovert, Tall Oaf, Wheezy, Dead Eye, and Castaway. Bill says he will make coffee in the morning.

Dead Eye says this is not the wilderness experience he expected.

Dead Eye

Friday, August 17th, 2012

9/17/12 – 1732 miles
Today was a fun day. It was great having Daryl along to hike with and enjoy each other in this quest of mine. I thought I would have to slow down but he keppt right along with me and even walked out ahead for a while. Daryl is in great shape from playing basketball but I imagine he will be sore tomorrow from a different kind of exercise.

Yesterday, I hiked 16 miles to a shelter 4 miles from where I would meet Daryl. I only met two other hikers all day – Bad Penny and Kleenex. Kleenex was slack-packing a section to a road where she was supposed to meet her sister. Her sister never made it to the meeting place because the road was washed out so Kleenex had to walk 20 miles to another road. I lent her my headlamp in case it got dark before she made it. So today Kleenex Daryl, and I all started at the same place.

Kleenex hiked on ahead of us but we caught her srveral times during the day. Tonight we are camped in the back yard of of a couple who love hikers. It is in the town of West zHartford, VT. There is a deli in the general store a few houses down and we ate ice cream and hamburgers there. Just before dark, the three of us played Yahtzee – a game I downloaded to my phone – and then got into our tents as it started to sprinkle.

I think Daryl may have trouble adjusting to the time change, I’m not sure how much sleep he will.get.tonight. Oh, we already picked out a trail name for him – Dead Eye.