Georgia to Maine! 281.3 miles left to go until the summit of Mt. Katahdin. It was a cloudy, foggy, and rather damp day, and the sun poked through right when I got to the border. A special moment for sure.
Also, I saw my first wild moose today! We had to be vewy, vewy quiet because it was a mother and her calf. Actually, we just had to avoid getting close to them because we tried to scare them off the trail by making noise but they wouldn’t budge so we found a way around them. Spotted near Osgood tenting site a little less than five miles from Pinkham Notch.
Video footage of three hikers opening, then working hard to close, one of the side doors to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on August 13th, 2014. Needless to say we did not summit Mt. Washington that day!
Today I summited Mt. Washington, something I have been looking forward to for a while! Mt. Washington is the 2nd tallest peak on the Appalachian Trail and features some of the most extreme weather in the country. I was fortunate enough to see some of that extreme weather while I took refuge from heavy winds and rain all day yesterday at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, which is 1.3 miles from the summit and about 1,000 feet below it. The peak wind gust at Mt. Washington yesterday was 83 mph, and the average wind speed was 41.2 mph. I will follow this post with a video that demonstrates the intensity of the wind!
I made it to New Hampshire this afternoon…just in time for the Sunday buffet at the Jewel of India in Hanover! I devoured three whole plates of delicious, delicious Indian cuisine, and now I am having cake and coffee at a nearby cafe. Next stop, the movie theater. A super special thank you goes out to an old scouting friend, Andrew, for showing me around town this afternoon and for hosting me this evening. Hanover, NH is my kind of trail town!
I have been in Vermont for many days now, and I have been so enamored by the beauty of this state that I have become derelict in sharing photos and stories here. Overall the trail has been quite hikeable except for when the clouds dumped rain upon the land in which case I played a game called “don’t step in the lava” to fend off frustration. More importantly, the food has been quite eatable for me in Vermont compared to other trail states. Access to gluten-free trail food has been easier, and the food has been more delicious. A special shoutout to Qu’s Whistle Stop in North Clarendon, Vermont for
the amazing pancakes, muffin, and roll to accompany my coffee, eggs, bacon, and home fries on my birthday. Oh, I also had a black raspberry milkshake. It was a huge and delicious birthday breakfast, and the people/place made it a true trail gem.
The woods are getting lovelier, darker, and deeper as I traverse further north, and my excitement is building as I get closer and closer to Mt. Katahdin.
I made it to Massachusetts a few days ago. The top left photo is me on Bear Mountain in Connecticut shortly before getting to the border and shortly after hitting 1500 miles of hiking on the AT.
I am finding both the scenery and the hiking more pleasing as I inch further north. Sages Ravine, pictured above, provided an intensely beautiful welcome as I hiked into Massachusetts accompanied by a friend from the Wilderness First Responder Course I took in March. Thank you Tricia for the delightful company, the gluten free goodies, and for saving my trekking pole from the wrath of the raging Brassie Brook! The water levels were very high from a few wet days, making for some fun stream crossings. I am finally all dried out now, and my new challenge is managing the mosquitoes. I ran a few miles of trail two days ago because the swarms were so thick in the lowland stretch.
More pictures coming soon!