June 1, 2017
As I wake, prepared to hike towards Crawford’s Notch 7.8 miles away, I realize that today is the last full month of my hike. It’s possible that it will take me a few days into July to climb Mt Katahdin in Maine. What an adventure it’s been of 2 months 3 weeks last year to hike 862 miles to Waynesboro VA and now on my way this year to hiking the final miles to complete the 2,189 mile trek! I’ve great respect for those who have hiked the AT, be it as a thru hiker or a section hiker.
The White Mountains have provided the most physically challenging trail that have been so steep and rocky that slowed my pace to about 1 mile per hour, and the most spectacular scenery that exceeded any expectation I had. Justin at hostel in Lincoln said it typically takes 8–10 days to hike thru The Whites. At current pace snd daily hiking miles, weather dependent, it will take us 8–9 days to get to Gorham, NH, the northern terminus to The Whites.
It’s starting as a bright sunny clear sky day. With the weather in these mountains being so unpredictable, though it’s 5:45am now, we will not leave until 7ish, since the crew here says they get a weather update each day at 7am. As usual, within minutes after waking, I’ve my bedding packed, my extra clothes bag packed and my hiking clothes on. My pack will be heavier today due to the water retention in my wet clothes. Though I hung up all of my clothes on pegs inside, these huts are not heated. What heat there is is generated by body heat and their cooking stove/oven, which is fueled by large propane tanks.
After a relatively easy 7.8 miles to Crawford Notch, Redirect and GI Joe decided to walk the 2.5 miles to the camping area, while I stuck it out for about 20 minutes longer and hitched a ride. They eventually got there, along with Johnny, a young recent Yale grad from England. The same ranger who drove me ended up picking them up, when they got off the rocks ad to check out a different camping area. We all split a cabin at $32 each for the night.
Today, as I was hiking these “easy” miles, I became fatigued, which is very unusual. As I hiked, I tried to diagnose my issue. I came up with 3 possibilities: I need to stop and eat, I haven’t had a zero hike rest day since May 15th, or I’ve been infected by a tick. So, I ate and felt better and thought that may be it. However, as the afternoon started turning to evening, I felt fatigued again. I’ve decided that it’s due to lack of regular zero days off the trail. However, John, the ranger who picked me up, said that the weather in the next two days is ideal for getting over Mt Washington by Saturday, since the weather changes to possible snow by Sunday night or Monday. Therefore, I will push myself for 3 more days to get to Gorham, where I will take a zero day in a private room. This also allows me to better hike my own hike to suit my needs. I’ve not partnered up like this previously, but the hugeness of The Whites convinced me to partner up, since GI Joe and Redirect didn’t want to go solo. I like solo but I’m allowing a short time new experience. GI Joe is of the same hiking and boulder climbing fitness as me, so, when Redirect takes off home for a family matter, it will be easier for me to hike a bit with GI Joe.
I’m going to read my book in the shade then to bed early for a 7am ride back to the trail.
Also, with rare to no cell reception or wifi, communication with family, friends and posting to my blog has been affected.