So, I lasted all of 2 weeks off the trails from when I left VT. This weekend, I got tired of waiting for that all day soaking rain (that we need) and hiked Moosilauke via Glencliff. A new trail for me and another small section of the AT. It's a 7.8 mile day today, round trip. It's HUMID and as my history would tell, I do not do well in humidity. But the other thing I am known for is my stubbornness. I'm no quitter. I may stumble but I am not known for quitting.
Glenciff trail starts off easy enough. I walked down from the parking area and entered the woods which quickly transitioned to a field of milkweed. It looked as though some people had chosen to camp here as some areas were tramped down. The trail continues into the woods and over a small well flowing stream. I can feel the humidity in the air and start to take it slow. Even the tree cover is not helping today. Isis and I continue and start to climb but there are very few large rocks to deal with so, the trail is a good trail so far and easy. Isis on the other hand is playing the game where she walks for 5 steps and stops dead. It takes forever for her to get going again and I'm pushing against my comfort zone of time management. I like to keep moving but I swallow my impatience and tell myself that I have a headlamp. I'm not giving up today. Even with a twit dog. We are passed by a trail runner who asks if we have seen another woman also running... He slept in and is in the dog house trying to catch up to her. We run into her later up the trail. I begin to encounter rocks and roots shortly after this passing.
Isis continues her game and we stop and start.. A lot. A Thru Hiker heading North begins to do a leap frog with us. He (like most Thru Hikers) is very nice... You can tell he is humbled by the trail. He told me that he's already feeling the Whites slow him down. As the rocks get bigger and the elevation gain gets a little steeper, I slow my pace yet again. On top of this, it's also slick from yesterdays rain. I'm trying to not think of if it rains today but I will turn tail and head down if it does (again, not quitting but that would be for safety). More Thru Hikers are filing down and heading south. Those are the lucky ones as they are almost done with New Hampshire. Moose is either the first or the last 4K in New Hampshire depending on your direction. Heading up into the clouds, I am not feeling any relief. I'm just feeling sticky and hot. Rumor has it, there is a great breeze at the summit... I cannot wait! Slowly, I make my way to the junction of the Carriage Road... We did not go to south peak today for time and for humidity sake. The Thru Hiker I've been sharing the trail was having his lunch at the junction. We stopped to chat and catch our breathe. Filled him in on the Whites a little and then we made our push to the summit. It's only .9 from the junction so, this should be fine.
As we walk, there are some really nice sections of trail here and I always like this "road" but I have never gone up it... Only down. No rocks and very little mud are present. The ridge usually has some good views in spots too but not today. Isis and I make good time but in the middle, there is a smell that stopped me dead in my tracks and had Isis' nose working over time... It smelled of death... Something rotten. I coaxed Isis along with my bandana covering my nose and mouth. I'm afraid that it might be the moose that once lived up here near the summit. I did not see the moose today either. Breaking out of the scrub, we push to the summit. In the clouds we are met by 4 other day hikers and later joined by the Thru Hiker I had shared most of the journey with. A quick chat about the trail and a warning to the Thru hiker about what's to come on the Beaver Brook Trail and we are ready to head back. The breeze was nice up on the summit. I didn't feel chilled at all. I felt refreshed.
I did not take very many pictures on this trip because I knew it was going to be a crap day. On our descent going back the way we came, I switched Isis to her 16foot retractable lead to help her on the downs and not feel so restricted. She loved it and I appreciated not being yanked down the trail. A win for both of us for sure. We made quick work of the down trail as usual and had fun talking to Stick who was on his way up Moose and just hitting New Hampshire on his NOBO attempt of the AT. So much fun talking with him about his envy of section hikers who get to break this state up to be more manageable. An interesting perspective that I never considered. Once back at the car, I changed, cranked my AC to full bore and we hit the road for home. But first a stop for coffee... As always.
I am my on worse competition and enemy... Always. Today was so much about not giving into myself... EVERYTHING hurts in me right now. It's something I have not felt for a while. I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Again, not something I have felt for a long time. I stood in my kitchen and almost didn't get my butt down to the car this morning too. Then I remember that I'm no quitter... I can still push through everything hurting and be OK. If I bowed out for every little joint ache, I'd never leave my house. So, sitting here with everything still hurting post hike and maybe hurting just a bit more... I proudly popped some Vitamin I and will later pour a glass of wine, and will again see what the week holds and the weekend brings. My direction now is out of New Hampshire as I head south on the AT. I just need to look at the logistics between day hikes and over nights. I also want to make a date with Camel's Hump in Vermont for redemption... I again just need to work out the logistics of time and if I want to hike up and over or just head up the southbound trail to the summit and back... A coin flip for me really. Either way, I am not going to let anything stop me... I'm no quitter.