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Getting Over the KRT

It's going to be a hot one today but I'm going to push and hope to get the Kinsman Ridge Trail (AT) done... Heading up to the Whites, I happened across the aftermath of a moose Vs 18 wheeler... RIP Marty Moose. Making my way to the Reel Brook Trail head, I passed by the Beaver Brook Trail Head which was of course the site of last weekends hike... Turned onto 116 and had my own encounter with a moose (sorry no photos she was quick). Essentially turned the corner and there she was in the road. I slowed down and she quickly moved off road and into the brush... Looked at me as I passed by. Reel Brook Rd off 116 is more of a heard path... Go slow. Turning onto the trail head, take care in a low clearance car... Also watch those trees. At 8:30am, it's already 70* out and humid. 

I'm the only one in the parking lot (it fits maybe 3 cars) so, I am hopeful this holiday weekend for a quiet trail day. Reel Brook Trail is easy to start... Grades are decent and the water crossings are just step overs or rock hoppers. Lots of flowers on the trail now too. Spring has sprung for sure. I'm feeling the heat though and even though I am in a tank top and my skirt, I am drenched relatively early. At each water crossing, I would dunk my headband or eventually my hat to stay cool. The hat was good to shade my eyes as well. Two hikers happened to come up behind me at a water crossing and just kept hiking. I never saw them again after this... Our pace slowed down as we hit some elevation gain, water and leaves on the trail made it a bit slippery too. Over all though, the Reel Brook Trail is a gem and far enough out of the way that the crowds are not here. At the junction for the Kinsman Ridge Trail (AT), it's a mile to the shelter. 

It's an easy enough mile which looses some elevation (not to worry, you'll make it up!). During this time, I'm going over plans in my head... I'm swimming in my cloths as I did on the LT during August of last year. So, I ruled out staying the night... I didn't want to deal with thunderstorms and a dog in a confined space right now. I ruled out going to North Kinsman too. It's just too hot for me. I will do only what I need and get back sane. We rested at the Eliza Brook Shelter and I had my lunch. Once we check out the area, we headed... UP. The great thing about this section is that it goes by these really nice cascades and some have decent gem pools to soak in. The bad thing is that you are pretty much climbing for a long time... There's a little break at Harrington Pond and then it's boulder city. I put my head down and got it done and I about died when I saw the summit. It was wicked hazy from the humidity and being out in the sun, my break did not last long enough... We got moving again and headed back to the shelter for another break. Taking advantage of that gem pool on our way back. At the shelter again, we sat and ran into another section hiker as well as a few old friends by looking through the log book. So, I've run into a total of 3 people so far on a busy holiday weekend. Tracing our steps back to the car was uneventful and almost easier... But I was still very hot. I think my temperature gauge broke today... Or it's just my age again.

After turning back onto the Reel Brook Trail, I ran into my first significant group and prior to that it was a group of 3 and two dogs... All heading for Eliza Brook Shelter so, I am glad that I didn't stay the night. Knowing what my comfort level is with Isis and what I would have dealt with, makes this a no brainer... Today was a challenge enough without causing a complete disaster. We managed the crossings mostly because we just walked through them... Trail runners dry quick and since I was on my way out, I knew that blisters would be a non-issue. I would not have done this if I was on a high milage day and staying out. Isis stopped caring about getting wet too which makes me realize just how hot she is. We arrive back to the car and I turn on the AC... Change... and head out. On the way back to 112, I saw a deer just duck into the woods.... Almost a good day for all animals. A word of caution when you exit: Watch the trees and the rocks because this just might be your fate.

Life happens... I'll deal with that on Tuesday. Today was a shocker in that I need to get acclimated to heat better and have better cool down strategies when the trail is a scorcher... I went through 3 liters of water and if I had not run out so close to the end, I would have refilled with cool mountain stream water since my water was very warm. I had minimal cloths on and I still wanted to hike naked (but it's not the solstice yet). I'm settling into this new role of section hiker... I'm OK with not reaching a summit and at the same time reaching one. I've gotten use to turning around at trail junctions and hiking these small hikes to connect the New Hampshire dot. I am looking forward to longer sections though as these out and backs are dragging on me. I am also so glad that this particular section is done. The cascades were very cool to see but, I am over the KRT. 

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