Tuesday, September 6, 2011

August 31

I woke up at 5:30 this morning intending to get up, but I was so tired that I went back to sleep for about 45 minutes. Bear Bag and I got packed and left camp before 7:30 for 11-ish miles. The first 2 miles to a road crossing were simple. Bear Bag stopped just short of the road for a bathroom break. I continued on; we planned to meet at a shelter about a mile away. I crossed the road, found the trail on the other side, and walked about 20 feet when I was stopped dead in my tracks...the trail literally disappeared over a ledge that led down to a river. I could see the trail on the other side so I knew that it had just been washed out from the storm. Crazy! I looked up- and downstream to find a place to cross, but knew I would have to wade across. I put my crocs on and donned the cold, swift water. The current was surprisingly strong but the water wasn't higher than my knees. I made it across, as did Bear Bag shortly behind me. We hiked to the shelter for a break, and Bear Bag met up with Snowy River, who he hiked with in the beginning but hasn't seen for months. Crazy how that works out here.
Mt Mousilauke was about a 3500-foot climb over 4.5 miles...steep and long but not as difficult as I was anticipating. The view was gorgeous and we hung out on the windy summit with Snowy River, Gumby, Chickadee, Honeybee, and Muldoon. Gorgeous views all around but it was chilly in the wind so we made our way down. We stopped for a break at Beaver Brook Shelter, where we had a beautiful view of Franconia Ridge...the Whites sure are intimidating, although I feel a bit more confident after getting over our first mountain! We left the shelter for a steep, pounding downhill for 1.4 miles. We followed a waterfall all the way down...lots of huge boulder steps, and wooden planks and rebar bolted into the rocks...wet and slippery but we made it, although our pace was slowed to one mile an hour! Slowest section so far.
We got to the road, which was disappointingly not busy, and waited about 15 minutes for the 5th or 6th car, which pulled over and agreed to take us into Lincoln, NH. Bear Bag had a package to pick up, so we stopped by the post office, then went to McDonald's to find Gumby and Snowy River there as well. We ate and visited, checked into the Comfort Inn, walked to the laundromat and grocery store, got pizza for dinner, ate McDonald's for second dinner, and finally called it a day. It wasn't a long day mileage-wise but I am exhausted! I think this bed is the perfect solution...
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