NH

My funhouse

August 1

14.6 miles, 1910.1 overall (Stealth camp, Bull Branch campsite, north end of Mahoosuc Notch)
I’m up and out of camp by 7 in the morning. I know I have a long day ahead and I want to get as far as I can before I camp tonight. Whatever I get done today will make tomorrow’s hike shorter since tomorrow is a town day.

The miles are slow in coming today and they’re also incredibly uneventful. I pass a campsite/shelter and soon catch up to Shortstop who stayed there last night. Then it is a 1000 foot climb up Mt Success, the last big mountain in New Hampshire. Because of the name I expect something stunning at the top but the mountain doesn’t really impress me. It has a nice view, but nothing spectacular. The mountain itself is a bit of a beast, with lots of the boulders and hand-over-foot climbing that I’m getting tired of. My knees are especially getting tired of this day in and day out. I had thought once I left the Whites the terrain would get easier but it appears I was wrong. To make matters worse, my legs feel heavy today and I’m just not getting into a rhythm. I end up putting on some music to try to help me through.

On the other side of the mountain though I get a bit of a pick-me-up when I reach the Maine border. It isn’t as exciting as I might have hoped because I don’t have anyone to share the moment with but I take the requisite pictures, celebrate a little by myself, and then move on.

The forecast called for rain today, specifically afternoon showers. As I head over Goose Eye Mountain I can see the clouds forming so while I really like Goose Eye and its three summits, I don’t spend too long enjoying it. I have a target in mind today and it would help to get there before the rain begins. I check the radar on my phone and see scattered storms all moving northeast, the same direction I am going.

My target is the north end of the Mahoosuc Notch. The notch is famous as the slowest mile on the Appalachian Trail and people either love it or hate it. The reason is because it is a huge boulder field created by rock slides from the surrounding mountains. For just over a mile hikers have to climb over, under, and around boulders that are larger than they are. I don’t want to do this section in the rain.

I stop for a bite to eat at a shelter just south of the notch. As I arrive it is starting to sprinkle but it lets up while I’m eating. I try to get an updated radar but I don’t have signal. I’m going to have to make this call on my own. It is 3:45 when I decide to go ahead and push through the notch, figuring that if I wait until morning the rocks will all be wet from the overnight rain anyway so I might as well get it done. Just as I leave the shelter it begins to rain, this time a bit heavier than a sprinkle. I stop, still only a few hundred yards from the shelter, wondering if I made the right decision. I wait a few minutes to see if it passes. Right around 4:00 it lets up and I continue on, hoping I have seen the last of it.

I enter the notch at 4:45 and it is everything I have read about. For the next 90 minutes I am climbing over the 1.3 miles of scree, looking for handholds, squeezing between rocks, crawling through spaces underneath huge boulders. Despite the hard work (my core gets its best workout all trail) it is immensely fun, and lucky for me the rain holds off. I feel like a kid in a playhouse, other than my knees which feel like an old man’s. By the time I’m through I’m glad to be done so my knees can rest.

Fortunately there is a great campsite right on the north side of the notch. When I arrive there are some sobo’s already set up there. I grab a spot next to them and set up my tent. Pretty soon I’ve made the trip down the side trail to get water, cooked dinner, hung my food, and I’m getting into my tent. Around 9:00 as I’m about to go to sleep I hear 2 more hikers arrive who just finished the notch. I’m amazed they dared starting it at 7:00 when the light would start to become an issue and I decide that their decision to hike possibly in the dark was much worse than mine to possibly do it in the rain.

I’m camped 17 miles from the road into Andover. I would like to get into town tomorrow but I know it is going to be a push to do it, especially if the trail is anything like it was today. I try to get a good night’s sleep so I can start early tomorrow on the Appalachian Trail.

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Categories: ME, NH | 2 Comments

My rescue

July 31

9.5 miles, 1895.5 overall (Stealth camp on Dream Lake)
In the morning I take my time. Since I got in late in the afternoon yesterday I’m not in a rush to get going today. I figure getting done with the Whites deserves a little time off even if I don’t want to take a full zero day. Besides, when I get up in the morning my laundry isn’t done yet.

Breakfast at White Mountain Hostel is a big affair. We get some really great oatmeal, coffee, a breakfast burrito, and a bit more food that for some reason I can’t remember. By the time I’m done eating I’m not really full but I’m certainly not hungry anymore, so it is a good amount and if I wanted more I could have more oatmeal.

T is stuck waiting here until tomorrow morning. She is a section hiker and over the last 2 years she has done 1800 miles in two 900 mile chunks. Since she teaches during the year she saves up and uses the summer to do her hiking. She needs to be back at work soon and doesn’t have enough time left to finish another chunk of trail before she has to fly home. Because of the bus schedule and the time of her flight, tomorrow she will catch a bus to the airport and then wait another day for her flight. In the meantime she is spending another day here. She spends the morning trying to convince me to zero with her. I’m not convinced, but she does talk me into staying to watch a movie with her and Gorp. We watch The Way, which stars Martin Sheen as the father of a backpacker who dies on the Camino trail in Spain. The movie is about how he deals with his son’s death by hiking the trail for him. It is pretty well done and resonates well with us as backpackers. By the end I think we all can’t help but contemplate hiking the Camino.

I finally leave just around 11. The first mile or so is a road walk before I head uphill over Mount Hayes. The climb isn’t too bad and is much more like the climbs in the south than in the Whites, with a more constant, switch-backed trail. At the top I catch up to Gorp who only left a few minutes before I did. There is a search-and-rescue team at the top but I don’t think much of it. Several of them are out of breath and I don’t sense any urgency from them so I figure they are on some sort of training exercise. Gorp informs me that I’m wrong and that the hiker on the summit is sick and is getting airlifted out in about an hour by helicopter. This sounds way too cool to miss so I grab a spot near the summit from which I can watch and I wait.

While we’re waiting Wiffle, Hawk, Peeper, and Gumpy all come by. Wiffle and Hawk stay to watch but Gumpy and Peeper hike on. It sounds like the hiker was a section hiker who hurt his knee the first day out and then caught the stomach bug that has been going around. Several hikers have been getting sick from it, including Joiner (Beau) and a couple others at White Mountain. It is a 24-hour bug but in the wilderness in a 60-something year old man with a knee injury it became more serious.

The helicopter arrives and begins what we expect to be an uneventful airlift. It drops the medic, then flies away, then returns to drop the stretcher. This is where it gets interesting because the stretcher starts flying around under the helicopter, caught in the downdraft from the rotor. Luckily the crew are able to secure it before it flies too high where it could get caught in the rotor and soon it is safely on the ground. I catch it all on video with my phone. The helicopter flies off again and several minutes later returns and lifts the hiker to safety. We don’t stay to see the medic picked up.

The rest of the hiking today isn’t terrible, but it continues to have some steep ups and downs similar to the Whites. Because of the late start and the hour I spend watching the rescue I am fated not to get many miles done today. I had planned for 15 but now it looks like 10 is more reasonable. Around 5:00 I fill up on water at a stream and then start looking for a campsite. I find one just a few minutes later and it turns out to be a great one just a bit off a lake. I set up my tent and start getting settled. Gumpy, Pepper, Hawk, and Wiffle all pass me still hoping to get close to 15 done today. I cook an early dinner and hang my food. Before I climb into my tent I decide to explore a bit and I hike up the trail to see if there are any good viewpoints around the lake. Unfortunately I find that only several hundred feet from where I stopped to camp there is a side trail to a campsite right on the lake with a fantastic view of the sunset. I chalk this one up to bad luck, spend a few minutes admiring the view, and then head back to my tent to try to catch up on some writing and get to bed early on the Appalachian Trail.

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Categories: NH | 2 Comments

The one where I leave the Whites

July 30

15.4 miles, 1886 overall (White Mountain Hostel, Gorham, NH)
In the morning Wiffle is intent on getting out quickly. I am told he has two speeds: regular speed and town day speed. Town day speed is much faster due to the availability of fast food in towns. He isn’t interested in waiting around for breakfast and leaves by 7. I opt to stick around for the free food despite not needing it. The hike into town shouldn’t be too hard and I’m not rushing. I sit in a corner reading some literature about the huts while the guests eat. The guests invite me to join but I politely decline, understanding that the crew still needs to eat before I can have whatever is left. By 8:00 the guests are done and I check with the crew to see if they need anything else done. They don’t, but they give me the leftovers to finish. They turn out to be just the right amount for me and I wonder if had Wiffle stayed if we would be splitting them.

On the way out I start up the climb to Carter Dome. It is the last long climb of the Whites although today I will have several other shorter climbs. At the top I run into a couple with a dog. They are hiking south but did a flip-flop. They started in Georgia in mid-April and, in early July when it started getting hot in Virginia, they flipped up to Katahdin and are hiking south to Daleville where they will complete their thru-hike. The view at the top isn’t so great but I know from the literature I was reading this morning that in another mile I will have a great 360 degree view from the top of Mt Hight, believed to be the best view of the Presidential range.

As I hike up to Mt Hight I can see why it has such a great view. It is another treeless summit, covered in granite bedrock. At the top I look back and see Mt Washington surrounded with fog, a common sight. I can also see what looks like some storm clouds starting to form over me. The chance of rain today is small but I’ve come to distrust the weather reports in the Whites. I hope I can get down to Gorham before the skies open up.

The rest of the day is up and down. I have a steep descent to Zeta Pass before a climb up to Middle and North Carter mountains. On the way to North Carter I run into Blues who is taking a break on the side of the trail. He and Pepper and Hawk camped at Zeta last night and when they went over Mt Hight it was foggy so he missed the view. The spot he has chosen has another great view back to the Presidentials. He informs me they haven’t been hiking long and that Wiffle has already passed them.

Onward I march to Mt Moriah whose peak is just below 4000 feet. I get a little worried on this summit that I’m following the wrong trail but soon I see a white blaze. It seems that the blazing of the trail is already improving as we leave the Whites. I take a look back at the storm clouds and it looks like they’re following me but I can’t be sure. On the way down the other side I catch up to Pepper and Hawk who are obviously having a good time since I hear them laughing several minutes before I catch up to them. Just as I catch them the rain begins as a sprinkle. I refuse for a minute to put on my pack cover, but eventually the rain intensifies and I put on both my pack cover and my poncho. Peeper has told me that when hiking behind me my poncho makes me look like Darth Vader and as I put it on she hums the Imperial Death March.

Thankfully the rain doesn’t last long, only about 10 minutes, and it never becomes a downpour. The trail flattens out and becomes a gently sloping downhill to town. We pass a shelter where some southbounders have stopped, completing 2 miles out of town for the day. I pause for a minute to check the shelter register and sign it, then move on to the road crossing where we find Wiffle waiting.

I have a reservation at the White Mountains Lodge and Hostel so I walk down the street to it, leaving the others who will be staying somewhere else in town. The hostel is similar to the Green Mountain House in that it is a large house that has been converted to a hostel. I meet Gerri, one of the owners, and she immediately gets me started on a shower and laundry. On the way in I see a face I recognize from another blog and when I hear her talking about coming off Mt Washington because of a stomach bug I know it is Beau and Mackenzie (or Joiner and Progress, respectively)! I am so excited that I almost yell “Its Beau and Mackenzie!”, surely scaring them with my stalker-like excitement. After I finish my shower I apologize for my stalker-ness and we catch up a bit on what they’re up to, how our hikes are going, etc.

Around 6:00 there is a shuttle to town and I take it to get my resupply done at Walmart. On the way I ask Gerri about dinner options and she says I can pick something up at Walmart to cook at the house. I take this to mean that we have kitchen privileges and I decide to cook the heavy pasta/pesto that I got from the weekend hikers the other day. I pick up some chicken at Walmart with the other supplies I need and we head back.

I immediately start working on my dinner and pretty soon I have a nice pasta dish ready to eat. As I’m taking it into the other room to chow down Greg, the other owner, lets me know that I’ve broken a rule because hikers don’t have kitchen privileges. I’m confused and after a minute I realize I must have misunderstood Gerri. There are toaster ovens and such for cooking simple things like pizzas and that must be what she meant I could use. Greg is cool about it but for the rest of the night I feel weird and it leaves me with a bad taste for what otherwise was a great hostel experience.

While I eat I catch up with the other hikers at the hostel including T, Gorp, the Noodleheads, and Progress. I’m not able to finish all of my pasta so Gorp helps me eat it. Between the two of us we are able to make it disappear. By the time I’m done it is bedtime and I head upstairs to a comfy bed with linens to fall asleep having completed the White Mountains on the Appalachian Trail.

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Categories: NH | 1 Comment

The one where I play catch up

July 29

11.6 miles, 1870.6 overall (Carter Notch Hut)
I sleep in a bit in the morning since I’m not anxious to pack up wet stuff. It seems like the rain has stopped and I hope my tent will dry a bit before I have to take it down. Around 7:00 I finally get up. I grab the food from my vestibule and am glad it is still there where it is easy to access. I eat my bagel and peanut butter in my tent, then start packing up. Fortunately I still have some dry clothes and, even though they are incredibly dirty, they are better than the wet ones. I opt for the dirty, dry socks despite the fact that my shoes remain soaked because the dry socks should help dry out the shoes faster than wet socks would.

By 8:00 I am ready to go. Five Pair is still packing up. I don’t want to wait for her today. I plan to be in Gorham tomorrow and that can’t happen if I hike another <10 mile day. She plans to get picked up at the Notch. I plan to hike on to the next hut. I check with her to make sure she will be ok for the last 6 miles to the notch and once she assures me she will be I get moving.

It is a steep downhill and the wet weather has made it a bit more treacherous so I’m forced to go slower than I would like. When I reach the tent site I stop for a break and run into some weekend hikers. They are excited to see me and ask if I want any food. I have plenty but I can’t resist saying yes. They give me a box of elbow macaroni and a Tupperware container of pesto. I’m excited about the possibly scrumptious meal and start thinking about when I could eat it. It is heavier than it looked and I want to get rid of it soon.

The rest of the trail to Pinkham Notch is pretty easy. It becomes a relatively flat section which crosses several large streams. One seems particularly hard to cross and, with a bystander looking on, I take my time but it turns out to be easier than I thought. Eventually the trail becomes practically a road walk and I hurry down it. As I go I listen to the last few chapters of Count of Monte Cristo. I’m almost done with the book and consider slowing down so that I can finish it before I reach the notch but decide against it. I arrive as the last chapter is about to begin.

At the visitor center I am surprised to see Peeper, Hawk, and Blues. They explain that they are getting a late start (it is 11:00 already) because they stayed at a cabin down the road. They arrived here yesterday just after it started raining and were able to eat dinner here. Blues recommends I try the chili burger. It sounds great so I head inside and, not seeing it on the menu, ask the cook. She says it was on the menu yesterday. I’m disappointed and she must be able to tell because she quickly tells me she could make it anyway. I thank her and wait in the dining room, sipping on some coffee while I wait for my burger.

It is 11:30 and must be lunch time for all of the visitor center workers. I watch as they come in one by one and grab their lunches. Some hutsmen are here too who I recognize from the huts I stopped in at. They must either be here to pick up some hut resupplies or to visit with friends on a day off. The entire staff in this park reminds me of summer camp. The huts perform skits for the guests to remind them how to properly fold their blankets in the morning and I can picture relationships between the various college-age workers. It amuses me while I munch on a delicious chili burger.

I get moving again around 12:30 and in the first mile out of the notch I finish my book. The ending is fitting but somehow anti-climactic. I wonder if it would feel the same way had I read it instead of listening to it. Pretty soon I’m on my way up Wildcat Mountain. This mountain has several peaks of increasing height that I must traverse to get to my destination for tonight: Carter hut. The climb is steep and rocky, just what I’ve come to expect from the Whites. On the way up I have views back to the visitor center so I can view my progress. At the top I pass a ski gondola that, were I willing to use the time and pay $12, would take me back down the mountain to a restaurant. I skip the side trip. On the way down the other side of Wildcat into Carter Notch, home of Carter Hut, the geology seems to change. I start to see lots of clays and mica on the way down. It is a simple change but it keeps me entertained a bit as I descend 1000 feet.

At the bottom I expect to have to climb a bit to get to the hut based on the listed elevation in the data book but the book turns out to be wrong. The hut is located directly at the bottom of the notch next to two glacially formed ponds. Carter hut is the oldest and most remote hut in the Whites. I’m surprised when I arrive by how small it is. The capacity is only around 20 guests, much smaller than Lakes which can hold 92. The dining room, bunk houses, and bathrooms are all in separate buildings. I immediately notice this since it means if I stay here I won’t be woken by the guests all night.

Peeper, Blues, Hawk, and Wiffle are all here. Peeper worked here in 2009 so she is enjoying some reminiscing. The others are enjoying coffee and baked goods. I sit down for a quick break before asking about staying the night. I explain that I have plenty of food and don’t need to take a work-for-stay that another hiker might want but that I’d like some place dry to sleep tonight. The hutsman explains that if I want to stay I’ll have to do work-for-stay because they try to treat all hikers the same. This is different than what I’ve seen at the other huts but I don’t argue. I decide to go ahead and take the spot, hoping I don’t bump another, more desperate hiker who might arrive later.

As Peeper et al prepare to leave Wiffle is waffling. He isn’t excited about hiking more today and is drawn by the allure of a large, hot dinner. At the last minute he decides to take the other work-for-stay spot and the others hike on. We hang out in the hut as the guests arrive.

Work here turns out to be incredibly easy. After the guests eat we get to attack the leftovers while doing a hiker talk. It is awkward to eat in front of them while we talk to them but I get over it quickly. Dinner is stuffed shells, salad, soup, and cake. Among the guests tonight is an older thru-hiker who ponied up and paid for a spot in the hut tonight. This is convenient because when we are too busy stuffing our faces to answer a question he takes over for us.

After the hiker talk the 11 guests head to the bunk houses. Wiffle and I have to sweep the dining room before bed, which we do very thoroughly. As we’re preparing for bed the hut crew asks for ideas about how to get rid of a wasp nest in their shed using household items that they might have here. After some quick brainstorming we come up with a plan: knock it into a double-bagged trash bag filled with a few cups of bleach, tie it quickly, and then roll it around a bit to soak them with the bleach. We aren’t sure if it will work and we make that clear to the crew but they like the idea and pretty soon they are all dressed in silly looking outfits to protect themselves from possible catastrophe. They head out to the shed while Wiffle and I do our last chore: setting mouse traps in the kitchen. The crew returns safe and triumphant, declaring that our idea was excellent. I wonder if they’ll have the same opinion in a few days when they have to dispose of the remains and discover some of the wasps survived. At least by then I should be many miles away. Pretty soon I’m asleep with a full stomach and a dry place to sleep, this time with no chance of being woken up by guests on the Appalachian Trail.

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Categories: NH | 3 Comments

The weather miscalculation

July 28

9 miles, 1859 overall (Stealth camp)
As I was getting ready for bed last night a Canadian sobo caught me and chatted with me about my hiker talk. I figured out pretty quickly that he wasn’t so interested in hearing my thoughts as explaining his, so I let him talk hoping that he would finish quickly so I could go to sleep. During our hiker talk he had asked whether we considered our time on the trail to be time off. I answered by explaining that while it can be an enjoyable experience that I still approach hiking like it is my job, getting up every day and going to work. While he has me caught listening to him the hiker explains that he asked the question because he considers his hike to be “time on” while his life back home with family, work, etc is “time off” because the “real” life is out here. It is a common sentiment on the trail and he seems pleased with himself about the time off/on piece. He tells me that he knows more about me from my hiker talk than he knows about his coworkers. Although I simply nod and give a lot of “Mmhmm’s” while he is talking I have to say I don’t agree with his point. First, I wonder what his wife and kids would think about not being included in his “real” life. Second, if he doesn’t know anything about his coworkers then I wonder why he doesn’t ask them. But my biggest problem with this whole perspective is that it separates one piece of a hiker’s life from the rest. I don’t view my hike as being separate from the rest of my life but rather part of it. Perhaps it helps that I have things I’m going back to and, perhaps more importantly, things I’m looking forward to after my hike. Many hikers come out here because they don’t have a clear idea what they want to do next in their life, or they want to escape jobs they don’t like or choices they need to make. I don’t have any of these problems so while I appreciate the idea that it is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle, I can’t say that I agree with his time on/off dichotomy.

Unfortunately I chose perhaps the worst spot to sleep last night. Thru-hikers are allowed to stay on the dining room floor in the huts. I chose a spot directly next to the walkway from the guest rooms to the restrooms. All night long people with weak bladders walk by, shaking the floor and slamming doors. I don’t sleep well, and at 6:00 I have to get up and get packed before guests come out for breakfast.

I decide to wait for breakfast leftovers. I’m still a little worried about how much food I have left for what should be 3 more days in the Whites, plus the breakfast should be far better than a bagel and peanut butter. Gumpy, Peeper, et al leave early to try to get to Pinkham Notch where they plan to get picked up to stay somewhere.

Leftovers are great and I wolf them down so I can get moving. I don’t leave far behind Five Pair who arrived late last night. She is nervous about the forecast of rain today as well as the rocky trail, neither of which are things she enjoys. I hike with her to the summit of Mt Washington an easy thousand feet above the hut. We pose for pictures with the sign at the top, check out the Tip Top House, a hotel-turned-museum, and then head into the visitor center to check out the snack bar. I find all kinds of resupply options there and end up grabbing a bagel, Clif bar, sandwich for lunch, a piece of carrot cake, and a soda. I sit and eat the cake and soda before leaving. I soon regret the decision.

When I leave I find that Five Pair has already left. As I start hiking I can feel the sugar rush and together with the hiking it makes me feel sick. I hike slowly as my body processes the sugary torture. Still I soon catch Five Pair who had thought I left ahead of her. I feel bad leaving her when she is so worried about the rocks and the weather so I slow down and decide to hike with her for the day. While the pace is slow I appreciate the opportunity to take my time and enjoy my last day in the Presidentials. The trail is still above treeline and, not trying to make miles, I’m able to soak up the views.

Five Pair is moving slower than I thought she would. I soon realize we are only covering about a mile an hour. I had planned to get to Pinkham Notch today but at this rate it won’t happen. I set my sights on a campsite a bit closer, which would be a 10 mile day instead of a 15. As we hike I watch the weather around us. To the west I can see it raining in a valley but that system is moving north parallel to us and doesn’t pose a threat. However fog keeps rolling in from the east and it seems like something might be brewing.

Around 3:30 we reach Madison Hut. On the way down Indiana passes us and gets there first. We chat with him while grabbing a snack. On the way in it started to sprinkle so he plans to ask about work-for-stay. Five Pair and I have to decide whether to do the same or to hike on. Chances are if we wanted to stay they would let us because of the weather, but both of us want to get more miles in. If we stopped here it would only make 7 miles for the day. Five Pair wants to get to Pinkham Notch where a friend is going to pick her up. I know that is out of the question but we could at least get closer for tomorrow.

We decide to chance the weather and hike on. It is sunny again when we leave and I start to think we made the right choice. We climb Mt Madison and then begin the long descent to Pinkham. As we are descending it starts getting foggy again. I hope it is just fog and not a storm moving in, but my hopes dwindle when it begins to sprinkle. Over the next hour the rain gets steadily heavier and we begin to hear thunder in the distance. It is still far away but it is not comforting since we are still on a ridge above treeline. I try to get Five Pair to hike faster so we can make it to the campsite but the combination of rocks and water conspire to slow us down even more.

The rain becomes heavy enough that I have to put on my poncho. Now I am mentally berating myself for deciding to hike on and for staying back with Five Pair. If I had hiked at my own pace today I could probably be at Pinkham Notch by now eating dinner at the visitor center. If we hadn’t hiked on from the hut we would be dry and eating a hot dinner. I apologize to Five Pair for making a bad decision but she is convinced that she is the one who made the decision to keep hiking and takes the blame on herself.

Either way, we are now wet and will be setting up camp in the rain. I am anxious to get below treeline and finally, around 5:30, we reach the forest. Just as we leave the alpine zone, where trees are shorter than 8 feet and camping isn’t allowed, I see a stealth spot off the trail. Even better I see another right across from it. We consider these spots briefly before hiking on, hoping for some better spots soon and knowing that worst case the campsite is only another mile. Not 5 minutes later I look to the left and see a trail through the trees to a small clearing. After we inspect it we decide to go ahead and make camp.

Just as we start setting up our tents the rain really lets loose on us. Unfortunately we don’t think before starting to set up and we each start setting up our own tents. I quickly notice the error, realizing that it would be easier if we each helped set up the other’s tent. I take a break from setting up mine to help Five Pair with hers. Once hers is done though I don’t bother asking for help with mine. She is already soaked and I’m worried about her morale so I let her get in and get dry. It doesn’t take long for me to finish setting mine up and to get in.

Almost everything is wet but fortunately the important things remained dry. I peel off the wet clothes and clump them in one end of the tent. I immediately feel warmer. My thermometer reads 60 but since we’re wet I’m still worried about hypothermia. I eat some food, opting for a no-cook dinner tonight consisting of the sandwich I bought on Mt Washington and never ate, a Clif bar, a Snickers, and some gorp. By the time I’ve eaten my skin is somewhat dry so I pull on some dry clothes, take out the sleeping bag, and get in. Pretty soon I am toasty warm inside. It was a long day so we opt to go to sleep early. We are still high on the mountain so there weren’t really any options for hanging a quick bear line. I sleep with the food in my vestibule for what I believe is the first time this trip. As a deterrent I plan to clear my throat or make some other distinctly human noise whenever I wake up during the night just in case a curious mammal happens to be nearby. My bigger worry is how to dry out tomorrow on the Appalachian Trail.

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Categories: NH | 3 Comments

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