Stealthing somewhere. If I told you, I’d have to kill you. And nobody wants that.
What a long long long long long long long long day. Long.
By the way: I’ve been seeing tons of toads in New Hampshire.
I’ve been hiking for twelve hours. In this terrain, that’s a lot. I’ll just give you the quick rundown.
Hit the trail at 6:15, and it turned out I was more like two miles from Pinkham Notch. The terrain was rough and it took me a couple of hours, but I had a fabulous breakfast at the Visitor Center. Too much breakfast, in fact, for the long slow climb coming up. Plus I wasted an hour; tactical error, as I now inderstand. I ate with SOBOs Slingshot and Sasquatch, whom I met at the last hostel and who are a hoot.
The first few hours of hiking were wonderful. I even saw a moose and her calf! They were blocking the trail. I thought for a while that we were going to have issues. But we didn’t. See? I could have made that a very colorful story (it was), but I’m just too tired.
Then the long long long long climb up Madison. It was a gorgeous day—hot and sunny. But that climb took forever. The terrain wasn’t hard, per se, but it was slow. At the top, lots of rocks. One thing New Hampshire has that Maine didn’t have too much of is wobbly rocks (with apologies to Ned the Fed, who was rescued off Katahdin with severe injuries sustained after a wobbly rock tipped another rock on top of him).
And the climb went on and on and on.
But eventually I got to the top. I thought I’d be sleeping up there, just like that guy at the AT Lodge in Millinocket who slept on top of Katahdin. But I found this stealth site that’s entirely too exposed, and not in a good way. Also, my tent truly doesn’t fit… not enough room to guy it out, so it’s more like a bug bivy.
I don’t like this! I hope I can get to a more… erm… oh, let’s say ‘less desperate’ site tomorrow. I don’t know how these guys who camp at picnic tables and such manage to do it without worrying about getting caught. I’m so not a rebel.
Oh, heh! Reunion report. There were several.
–Monk! I can’t for the life of me remember where I met him. I remember his necklace—very distinctive. I’m pretty sure it was at a hostel, but I can’t think which one. Greasy Creek? For some reason, I think it was earlier. The reunion was funny. I was climbing up a hill and he was at the top, and all of a sudden he stuck out his finger and shouted, “I know you!”
–Two Sticks. He was astonished to see me again, and astonished that I remembered him. “You met me once, with Backtrack!” Backtrack is, alas, off the trail.
–Sparky and Orange Peel! I was waiting for that one. They were the fsther and daughter I met at the Smokies. We spent one memorable ice storm in a shelter together. It was great to see them.
Gah. People just walked past. This is terrible. I hope they don’t report me, on purpose or by accident. I should have waited until after dark to pitch the tent, but I was freezing. Freezing and tired.
I wonder what they do to criminals around here? Drawn and quartered by moose?
Anyway, tomorrow: Mt. Washington. In whole or in quarters.