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Showing posts from August, 2015

Going Back to The Whites on Lafayette and Lincoln

I really was not going to hike until September... I was going to give myself and Lil' Nugget a nice break and maybe get a few things done. I did not count on the real world having such a slow integration (not that I am complaining) or for the weather to be... Perfect. So, early in the week, I thought I'd head up the ridge, thinking it would be a nice little hike. Then I realized that 3 of my trail friends from the LT/AT were going to be on the ridge too. So, I stopped and picked up some goodies in hopes that I would run into them. Call me crazy but after my two weeks on the trail, I get it and I get the value of someone gifting you with a tasty snack. I may have only gone 151 miles and these guys are going a lot further but I still understand what happens. The trail changes you... And it makes you hungry (literally and figuratively). I needed to get back on the trails again and So, I hiked Franconia Ridge (half of it anyway), as a nice welcome back to the Whites. We left the …

Division Eight... Just a little: Cooley Glen to Lincoln Gap... Then Home.

Day 16: 8/22/15: Glen Cooley Shelter to Lincoln Gap to Jaffrey, NH

I have to say that I didn't sleep well last night. Maybe it was the anticipation of leaving trail. I felt I was ready and that I had accepted it as finally here. Slowly, I got up. I had coffee because that was all I had left. Then Isis ate the last of her food too. I packed up and quiet as a mouse, I got on trail. It was clearing up bit from the morning overcast but it had not rained. As I was leaving, Mike T's brother passed me the last orange and I told him I would have it for second Breakfast on Sunset Ledge.

The mud of course was plentiful as were the rocks that were slick from the morning. The first thing up was a climb of Mt. Grant. It was an easy .8 with decent grades though both hard wood and fur trees. Jonny Appleseed caught up to me and I slowed down just a little. 4.7 miles goes quickly and I didn't want to leave trail too early. I turned to look at the view and almost slipped on a rock. Jonny sa…

The Long Trail Division Seven: Brandon Gap to Cooley Glen

Day 13 Continued... 8/19/15: Brandon Gap to Sucker Brook Shelter
Going down to US 73, we crossed the busy road and after a field, we began climbing rock stairs. It was .7 up to the Great Cliffs of Mt. Horrid. These were beautiful and offered 180* views of the valley below. I spent a little time out there just soaking in these final sights. The end was coming fast and while I was getting excited, I also wanted to put the brakes on. 

We then continued back on the trail to Mt. Horrid. which had a nice vista to look out over as well. The breeze was welcoming so, we kept moving on down the trail a little and then up again to Cape Lookoff Mountain with another great view. The trails have been a mix of rocks and roots and starting to resemble The White Mountains I know so well. This also signals that we are getting close to the 4 remaining 4K peaks. After a few miles of ups and downs, some slips and falls, I arrived at Gillespie Peak. It's been a long day already and with 2 miles to go, …

Division Six of the Long Trail: US 4 to Brandon Gap

Day Eleven Continued: 8/17/15: US 4 to the Former Tucker Johnson Shelter Area. 
I ran across the three lanes of traffic on US 4 and found empty trail magic when I got there. Now, it was one mile to the Maine Junction. Less than 500 miles to Katahdin for my NoBo Thru Hiker friends. Isis and I fought up the trail. My feet were hurting and she was being distracted and defiant as well as tired. I was getting tired also and wanted to go home again. So, I stopped. I fixed my feet as best I could in my muddy shoes and then I kept going in spite of wanting to go home. I kept going up that steep trail to the Maine junction. I would not see any of my NoBo friends that were behind me any more. So, I said a silent good luck to Tumbles and Scout, Rigga, Boston, and Yeti, and 4B as well. I would no longer hear Tumbles laugh and say, "You know what? Today, I think I'll walk". I made the turn down the Long Trail solo. Not another soul around. It was so quiet I could hear my own thoughts…

The Long Trail Division Five: Vt. 140 to US 4

Day Nine Continued... 8/15/15: Vt. 140 to Minerva Hinchey Shelter.
After leaving our trail friends, we were on to Bear Mountain and then Minerva Hinchey shelter for the night. Bear Mountain, just about did me in and put me over the edge as it was steep. But even before that I had to navigate some pretty tough surroundings with a water crossing that was confusing. There were also people... Novice hikers who really didn't know what they were doing and looked at me like I was crazy as I told them to turn back. So, back to Bear Mountain. This peak was full of switchbacks and it was marked as if they were junctions. It was very confusing and of course very hot! I don't think the trail actually went up and over but skirted around the summit. 1.7 miles we hiked and then we had the .9 down to Minerva for the night. This was a long .9 as all I wanted to do was get off my feet. There was also thunder rolling around. I had to get to some kind of cover soon. I was determined to get there.…

Division Four of the Long Trail: Mad Tom Notch to Vt 140

Day 8 Continued... 8/14/15: Mad Tom Notch to Lost Pond Shelter.
There was no real water source until after Baker Peak so, the water cache was really necessary and I was happy to have the water. Beast somehow got on trail and caught up. Showing up all sweaty and huffing and puffing. He picked up one of the jugs and took a big drink. I was slightly disgusted as people (like myself) use these to fill up our bladders. I said nothing though. Quiet and a mouse. I really wanted to distance myself from the Bromley crew. I felt the need to either be on my own or at least with people closer in age. We took our time heading up Styles Peak as we dealt with switchbacks and really hot temps. Once we got there, it was really crowded for the small view and we didn't stay long. There were other peaks to climb today too. Descending to a flat path, and then ascended almost immediately to rocks and switchbacks to Peru Peak. This day would be full of ups and downs. Isis and I were on our way to lunch …