This morning the smell of freshly brewed coffee convinced me to roll out of bed. I chatted with hikers and trail family over a breakfast of yogurt and gatorade. (1st breakfast, mind you) Then I dilly dallied around a while (trying my best to stay out of a harsh berating of an unprepared nobo) before taking off back into the woods.
Moosilauke. 3800 foot climb. First mountain of the White Mountain range, purported to be some of the hardest hiking on the AT, along with southern Maine. I took my time climbing. It wasn’t bad, just long, once I got up to the trail that goes to the southern peak I could see the summit I was headed for.
There are rock cairns marking the trail on the bald. It was incredible climbing up. I felt like I was on a real mountain again and off in the distance I could see the rest of the whites. Some real sexy mountains out there.
So, then I walked down Moosilauke. I now understand fully why so many people prefer climbing the mountain southbound. I was unnerved to put it lightly. I almost froze up at one point. Imagine a 95 degree angle. Now put slabs of rock on it, roots in between them, then some more smaller rocks and throw in some dirt. Oh and then make most of it terrifying. There were pieces of wood drilled into the rock in places. I had to trust those pieces of wood with my life. I talked myself down the mountain. It really was very pretty. I saw other hikers too, so at least I wasn’t going to die alone.
I met a hiker named Emerel before I hit the really gnarly stuff. He was really nice. He’s working on “the grid.” Let me explain: there are 48 peaks over 4000′ in New Hampshire. He hikes all 48 every month and has been doing this since January and he’ll keep doing it until December. He lives in Vermont and used to be a teacher. That’s a lot of hiking. I could tell he really loves it though.
So, the rest of the day went well enough. I didn’t make it to where I was planning but that’s okay. I’m camped over a stream near Gordon Pond trailhead. Occupy and Leaks are here too.
I’m really excited for the upcoming terrain. Climbing Moosilauke kinda made my heart swell today. I love mountains. Tomorrow I get to see my Dad!