Last night I woke to a slight shining brighly through my tent overhead. I was startled and thought it was a headlamp. I was afraid to speak to I reached for my harmonica and blew it. It didn’t move. I didn’t hear any movement other than the wind through the trees. The light was flickering through the leaves. I watched it for a few minutes and then realized it was the moon.
I crawled out of my tent at about 8am and started packing up. It was chilly overnight, maybe in the 50s but I was so cozy in my 20 degree sleeping bag. I was gone by 9 and started my climb up Mt. Cube a 2900 foot peak. The trail became rocky as I walked up sheets of rock for 2 miles to the top. It was a bright sunny day with clear skies. As I approached the summit I saw an older hiker from the last shelter I had stayed at. He must have left a hour before me. I was surprised I had caught him. We sat and chatted for a bit and I learned his trail name was Jack. He was from Alabama, 68 years old, retired (twice), a writer, and started the trail in February a two other guys that had to get off the trail due to injuries. In an attempt to change my trail name I told him I was Twang. I didn’t figure I would see anyone I knew anyway. He said, “Can I call you Ms. Twang?” I said, “sure.” I took one last look back at Smarts Mountain marveling at how far away it looked when I had just walked over it yesterday. I hiked on leaving Jack in the dust on the descent from Mt. Cube.
Today was going to be a long one. 15 miles to Warren, NH where I would be staying at the Hikers Welcome Hostel for the night and maybe a few more days depending on the weather. It was the last stop before the White Mountains began. The day dragged on with high humidity and temperatures in the lower 80s. The trail was uneventful for most of the day with several ups and downs with no views of note and a few road crossings. I found leaf on the ground that had a brilliant fall orange color. It’s coming.
I walked through a lovely pine grove and passed a beaver pond. My feet were hurting as usual so I listened to Harry Potter to pass the time. As I was descending the last mountain of the day, Mt Misty, I saw at least 5 different groups of young college students hiking south at around 5:30pm with daypacks and bluetooth speakers blaring. I asked where they were headed and they said, “Hanover”. It was the Dartmouth Outing Club’s annual 50-mile hiking challenge where students walk all the way back to Hanover in one continuous stretch. I thought, well that just took me 3 days. Soon enough I popped out of the woods and on to Route 25 where I had to walk .3 to the hostel in Warren, NH. There were several hikers there outside eating dinner. A few of them called out to me, “Hey Research!” I said hi back and went inside to check in. I met Bag of Tricks, an older guy who had hiked the trail in the 70s. He was helping run the place and shuttled a few of us to the gas station down the road for ice cream and sandwiches. I set up my tent in the back yard and made some microwave popcorn as I chatted with other hikers. Jack showed up around sundown.
Ten Four and One Step were talking about taking a zero day tomorrow to wait out the cold and rain and slackpack over Mt Moosilauke the next day. It was the first mountain in the Whites at 4800 feet and a wicked climb up and down. That sounded good to me and so I joined there posse. Jack also planned to do the same.
Miles: 1778.5 – 1793.1 (14.6)