Monthly Archives: August 2019

Up and down I go

Maine has been very hard. The climbs and descents have been very steep and rocky. Yet there is beauty in this ruggedness.
The sunbeams caught my attention. I thought they looked eerily beautiful.
Sometimes there is a sign at the summit. This one required me to climb on sloped sheets of granite for hundreds of yards where you felt if you fell you’d slide down the mountain

Over Madison

I left the Hut early. Again the wind was gusting over 40 mph. There were times I just had to stand still. Facing the wind. Leaning into my poles which were on the rocks. This picture is messed up because the wind was jiggling the phone so badly.
The traverse was a multi mile rock/boulder field. Each step I had to watch where my poles and feet were placed. I followed cairns miles after miles. It took me hours. It was exhausting. In 5 hours I climbed and descended only 3 miles.
I needed a break. So once I got below tree level and out of the wind I called a local hostel in Gorham NH. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a zero day. I need a respite from the mountains to get my head straight. On the way down I hiked with Little Engine. I met her a day ago at Madison Hut. Her bright spirit helped me. She was going to the Rattle River Hostel and I asked if she would mind if I too went there.

At the hostel I took another foot picture. I’m about to lose toenails on my right foot on the two toes next to my big toe. That’ll be nails 4 and 5. And that’s with my new Oboz hiking shoes. Sheesh

Hiking buddy

Kathy’s cousin, Mark, came to hike with me on the weekend of 8/10. It was so great to meet up with him and his dear wife, Maria, We met on US 302 trailhead on Saturday morning after I hiked 3 miles from my campsite. After greetings, packing some goodies from home we were off. Our goal was to begin the ascent of Mt. Washington. He only had the weekend so I would continue on to the summit the day. After several hours of hiking we could see US 392 far far below.
Along the way was a lookout so I snapped a picture. We are still far from our goal of our tentsite

After hours of hiking we arrived at Nauman Tentsite . We had option of going even farther but 6 miles was all we could handle. The climb was steep, wet and slippery. Nauman Tentsite is next to the Mizpahw Hut. We set up our tents next to each other on a platform. While cooking dinner it started to rain so we each ducked in to our tents. We had barely talked on the ascent. It was hard to hear over the noise of the rain. We were cold, damp and exhausted and soon got into our sleeping bags. That night a cold gusty wind blew all night. I put on my puffy jacket and gloves while in my sleeping bag to stay warm. By morning everything was damp or wet – my sleeping bag, and my tent. Regardless I packed it up. My tent weighed more with all the water in it. Since Mark had to work the next day we said our goodbyes. I was sad to see him go. It was just too short and the weather was icky.
After leaving Mark I then continued the climb in rain and fog and wind. On the way I started to worry about getting too cold. In the lee of some rocks I put on my puffy under my rain jacket. That and gloves helped keep my core warmer. The wind was so strong and the fog was thick. On I marched. At the Lake of the Clouds Hut after only 4 miles I stopped to rest from the gale outside and re-evaluate my goal. Typical of me I decided to press on but skip the side trail to the summit of Mt. Washington, which is known for awful weather. It took me 12 hours to get to my goal the Madison Hut. I was beat and my body was aching but I made it. There I washed dishes so I could stay the night (work-for-stay) and sleep on the floor of the dining room.

1800 miles

I’ve not had much cell service in the White Mountains. These pictures are delayed as are most from the past two postings.

On 8/6 I passed the 1800 mile mark. The trail has gotten exceedingly more difficult. The mileage has dropped accordingly. Instead of 30 minutes a mile it is now taking me up to 60 minutes a mile
The next major mountains were South and North Kinsman. When you summit there are still trees nearby. However shortly I’ll be summiting above tree line. The trees provide protection especially from the wind
I resupplied in Lincoln NH. At the post office I got a new tent. It’s a Zpacks Duplex. The old tent was leaking in the rain. This tent is so much larger inside. I got to the Liberty Springs Tentsite which has platforms and was able to pitch it the first time on the ground. Pitching it was quite easy. Notice the rocks all around and you’ll know why they provide platforms.
The next peaks were Lincoln and Lafayette. The weather was foggy and rainy. I just summited and continued on because there was nothing to see. The weather for the next few days was like this. It makes it hard.
A small break in the clouds otherwise you wouldn’t know you were up so high.
I said that in the mountains my speed has slowed. This is why. The trail at times is just a jumble of rocks and boulders. I have to be very careful. Falling on them is painful. They are rough like gritty sandpaper. One day I fell three times. I’m getting bruised and cut up when I do. My knees and ankles are taking a beating.

And so begins the White Mountains of NH

The first mountain is Moosilauke. The climb up took time but wasn’t technically difficult.
A selfie to show I really did summits it. There were 10-15 other people there enjoying their accomplishment
What the sign in the background of the last picture says
On the way down I passed this set of cascading waterfalls. Pretty!

In New Hampshire

I came upon this group of stacked rocks. A sign nearby said “white rocks”. I find it interesting yet puzzling why humans like to build these structures. What makes us do that?
The forest is changing. I’m seeing more pines with very straight tall trunks.
Walking into Hanover NH. The trail goes right through town. It’s been over 50 years since my brother went to Dartmouth. Today I met up with Tim a triple-crown hiker I met on the PCT. He was kind enough to take me home for a night and a break from hiking.
The next morning at the crack of dawn Tim drove me back to Hanover so I could continue on my journey/adventure.