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Monday, September 19, 2011
A cold, cold night...my thermometer this morning in the shelter read 35. Surely it was into the 20s last night! It was tough getting out of bed this morning but Bear Bag and I got on the road and warmed up with a quick climb. From there the trail turned and we headed downhill for awhile...down a trail with no blazes. That's got to be one of the most frustrating things, when the trail isn't marked. It felt right though and we headed down a steep trail and finally saw a sign at the bottom for the AT! Such a relief as I would not have enjoyed hiking back up! The sign marked the beginning of the Mahoosuc Notch, a boulder jumble between two mountains. The guidebook describes this as "The most difficult or fun mile on the AT?" It was fun for about the first hour. We climbed up and over and around boulders, holding difficult positions for pictures. We were laughing and smiling and enjoying ourselves. Two hours later, when we finally reached the other end, only 1.3 miles away, I was no longer smiling. It took 3 hours. Three hours. My body was exhausted from the effort...we had to climb, lower ourselves down, jump, slide down rounded boulders on our butts, take our packs off and crawl...by far the craziest "hiking" I've ever done. We took a break at the end and were passed by some section hikers who gave us some food!...cheese, pepperoni, and crackers. We then began the climb up the Mahoosuc Arm, which was supposedly just as difficult as the notch, but was nothing we hadn't done before. A few technical sections but nothing too difficult and we had a great view at the top! We could see Mt Washington and Mt Madison, Wildcat, Carter Dome...so many mountains and it was a gorgeous sunny day. From there we descended down to Speck Pond Shelter, a beautiful place with the pond nearby. Moose in the morning? Chatter is here as well along with the section hikers who gave us food earlier, and they gave us homemade apple pie tonight...delicious! It's another cold night and hopefully another sunny day tomorrow!
Posted by Lindsey at 9:06 PM