Liberty Spring Campsite [mile 1388.8; SOBO 370.4]
I hiked with some dead guys today, including Lincoln. After the summit of Mt. Lincoln, there was a ranger. He asked how the thru hike was going (we smell bad and are easily identifiable by the plummage of duct tape), then said I’d just been above 5000 feet for the last time until Mt. Rogers. And I said I flipped, and I’d already done Mt. Rogers (in Virginia). So I guess I’m done! I won’t be above 5000 feet again for the duration of this hike. Maybe forever; who knows? Ironically (given how much I hate uphills), the thought makes me a little sad.
So. It rained last night! Man, did it rain. It rained torrentially, most of the night, with thunder and lightning that must have been doing a number up on the ridge. I didn’t wake up super early, and the worst of the downpour had stopped by the time I rolled out of the tent. But everything was just soaked. I’ll be so glad to get to town tomorrow (I hope I can find a place to stay on Labor Day, of all days).
The morning continued gray and foggy and slick, like hiking through the inside of an oyster. I started out by finishing the climb to Mt. Garfield—rugged hand-and-foot climbing that would have done Maine proud. A lot of the last two days has been rugged.
The top of Garfield was pea soupish! I found the tiniest bit of internet signal, but lost it again a quarter mile down from the summit and never got it back all day. That frustrates me.
After Garfield came Mt. Lafayette at 5291 feet. A long climb: but the summit was amazing. Upstairs the thick fog turned to partial clouding. There were breaks in the white, and cracks of blue that gave me the most amazing traverse across the Franconia Ridge! Stunning. The thick clouds, oddly, added to the breathtaking beauty; they framed the views and highlighted the majesty of what was visible.
What an afternoon.
Also oddly, there were, I kid you not, 500 people were up there. It was a veritable United Nations, for two miles of ups and downs above treeline. Disconcerting! I’m looking forward to getting back to the woods. 😉
But tomorrow… into town! I hope I can find a place to stay. I can’t wait to connect with people again (meaning you)! I’ve felt pretty cut off. I loathe these long periods when I can’t get a signal, grrr.