Day 110: Beaver Brook to Lincoln, NH
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
134Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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So today was another one of those roller coasters, both in terrain and emotionally as well. In the morning Mt Moosilauke claimed another victim, probably not how I envisioned this day starting out.
The descent from Moosilauke is down a trail following a cascading waterfall, this makes it very very steep and very slick. In some spots they've installed blocks and rebar to help you traverse it but it was a real struggle. Of course I was also enjoying the waterfall, and wanted to try to capture a small essence of it to remember later. As I had my camera out standing on a slope near the waterfall I moved my foot and then totally slipped on the rock. I fell in place and so did
the camera, right out of my hand.
Well, the lens was out to take a picture and it was badly bent. Those digital cameras don't take much to fail and so I knew right away it was over. Coulda been much worse though, the camera could have slid into the waterfall and I would have lost all my pictures on the memory
card. This didn't happen. Also, I could have fallen and slid into the waterfall and died. Also this didn't happen (though some of the more intelligent readers may have figured that out)
So just on the day when the sun comes out and the sky is blue, I am left with no camera, and I love to pretend to be an amateur photographer. I've already taken over 1,000 photos on this trip (and probably would have taken another 1,000 in just this stretch!) ah well. The show must go on.
I finally get to the bottom of the trail ( where they have all kinds of intense warning signs to keep the day hikers away) and it has taken me over an hour to go about 1.5 mi. This would be an alarming trend for the day. Usually I do at least 2.5 mph. After this I get a nice 500 ft climb up to a good viewpoint. I use my smartphone to take a few low-resolution pics but this'll never satisfy
A couple thru-hikers catch me from behind and we hike and chat for a ways (12 percent and Hot Lips) nice to not be in a thruhiker black hole but also worrisome for trying to do work for stay at some of the huts. Right before lunch 12 percent is standing by a pond and sees what he thinks might be a moose. We all look at it and it looks like a deer until it lifts up it's head and clearly its not a deer face. (Stephen would have spotted the difference much sooner).
Then the biggest surprise comes when, what we thought to be a pile of wood turns around and looks at us, it's a huge mama moose and what we first saw was just the baby!! Wow I had forgotten just how big they are. Hot Lips called it a dinosaur. Magnificent animals and now the pressure is off to see one. Hopefully I'll catch glimpses of a few more in ME though.
After lunch it's time to climb 2000 ft up to Kinsman Peak. The first half follows the river up along great cascades but then the trail gets downright nasty. Basically we have to ascend a rock face. (typical AT) the climbing is difficult and dangerous. At times pulling myself up rock faces with my arms, legs scrambing to get a grip. All this with the wind whistling by at near treeline and the sense that you are on the edge of a huge precipice. (the trees would keep you from falling to the bottom, but a fall would probably be a hike-ender)
It takes 1.5 hours to go up the mtn and at the top it is just sheer exhaustion that I have to stop for a break. Then I look up and notice all the gliders
The descent down is easier but still very trying, my ankle and knee are both bummin out, probably from sheer overwork. The Whites are definitely rocking my world. I'm still trying to keep up a fever pace especially to take advantage of the weather. I can't imagine doing
this stuff in the rain.
I forgot to say yesterday that I hit 400 to go! Another milestone and today we hit 1800 miles hiked. Much work still to be done though. Which is why I call a shuttle at the road and ride into Lincoln where this guy Chet runs a hostel. (I've never met a Chet before, I just know the name from the character in the Hardy Boys and the jazz trumpeter.)
The guy is nice and I use his bike to ride to the grocery store and to look for a camera. This is a deadend. No one has anything worth buying so I'll just try to keep using my phone. The pictures are gonna stink but I guess that's luck. I'm no Ansel Adams anyway.
Hope everyone is doing well. It's nice to sleep inside tonight and be down off the ridge, though that means tomorrow I have to go back up. Like they say, " there's always another mtn to climb"