Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 18

Another cold morning but not as numbing as yesterday. The two of us left camp for a rocky and unexpectedly difficult climb up Old Speck Mountain. The morning was full of sunshine and we had a great view of the valley below, spotted with fog. From there the trail turned downhill for more than 3 miles, an easy grade that was smooth walking. We took a lunch break in the sunshine in the parking lot at Grafton Notch and were visited by Soda Mike, a park ranger in the area. He pulled out an ice cold root beer for each of us and it was probably the best root beer I'd ever had! We haven't had trail magic for awhile and it came at an opportune time, after a couple of hard days. So nice. Muldoon was getting dropped off from being in town so we chatted with him a bit; he had done the notch in the rain and had a few rough days and thought about getting off the trail...so close to the end! A few days in town turned his mind around and I was glad to see him back on the trail!
From Grafton Notch we started the climb up Baldpate Mountain; the first half was well-graded and it felt good to hike uphill steadily. We took a break at Baldpate Shelter and finished the climb up the mountain, steep but I felt strong. We emerged on the west peak and had an intimidating view of the east peak! We could see Engineer and Yoga Boy on their way up, straight up the rocky face! We started our way up and I was thankful for the dry rocks; my feet had a good grip and we made it to the top easily for an awesome, awesome view of the mountains all around. The downhill side was tricky and steep, but I only fell once on a wet rock! Once we were down a ways it smoothed out and was easy walking to Frye Notch Shelter, where we took a quick break and kept going. We hoped to make it 4.5 miles further but were running out of daylight and found a stealth site just as it was getting dark. We cooked dinner by headlamp and are planning 12-ish miles into Andover tomorrow. Snowy is there tonight, but there are two ways to get to town so he will do the 10 miles between the roads with us tomorrow and stay in town again. And no, we're not taking a zero!!
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1 comment:

  1. "And no, we're not taking a zero!!" Atta girl Lindsey :-)

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