Sunday, August 27, 2006

On the AT - NH25A to Rt. 25, Glencliff, NH

August 27, 2006 | Miles: 9.8
Start: Rt. 25A
End: Rt. 25, Glencliff
Cloudy for the first hour; rainy and cool for the rest of the hike.
A soggy, cold walk in the woods today. We started out at 9:30am again today to cloudy, windy skies. It didn't start raining until about an hour into the hike, and then it continued the rest of the way, turning the overgrown trail into a carwash! The hike today was just sort of a rolling walk through the forest, without any views and without too much to talk about specifically. With the rain and the cool weather, there wasn't much reason to stop along the way, so we just chugged along, taking 4 hours from road to road. Luckily the terrain was pretty mellow and the treadway was relatively smooth, which helped. Ryan hung in there really well, despite being tired from two good days of hiking. Saw 3 orange salamanders and 5 toads, but not much else.

Hiking in the rain isn't a lot of fun. But, I'm complained enough already today, so I'm not going to complain here. I finally stopped complaining once I realized that I was hiking. A month ago, I couldn't have done what we did this weekend. I certainly couldn't have done it 6 months ago. So, I really can't complain. Although, I'm tired and sore...and way out of shape. We did manage to hike the almost 10 miles today in about 4 hours, so that's encouraging. So, more exercises and a little running this week to keep up the healing. I had a little grouchiness in my right knee near the end of the hike, but I was able to stretch my legs and the pain dissipated. That was very encouraging. As far as the hike goes, it was an unexciting section and if we had to do a section of NH in the rain, then this was the section to do. It's back to work tomorrow and back on the AT again soon. Maybe even an overnight in our near future.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

On the AT - Rt. 25, Glencliff to Rt. 112, Kinsman Notch, NH

August 26, 2006 | Miles: 9.5
Start: Rt. 25, Glencliff
End: Rt. 112, Kinsman Notch
Overcast with high ceiling, cool and nice
Ryan says it's not as exciting or enthralling to document the rest of our AT journey, as we'll be doing it in fits and starts. But, for my own satisfaction, I plan to document the whole darn 2100 miles, no matter how long it takes us :-) So, here is our first stretch back out on the trail, a year and a month after we last passed a white blaze. It's taken this long for Ryan to be healed again, and it was great to get back out hiking! And even more so to have Ryan healthy again! We have missed being in the woods, and we always enjoy our hikes together--today was no exception! I was feeling a bit nostalgic as we crossed Rt. 25 and passed our first white blaze, I must admit. And it's funny how even though we're no longer thru-hikers, we still think like then. Oh this is a good tent site; this would be a good stream for water; what is up with the road walk? The mind just reverts right back to that way of thinking! So, we started out at 9:30, to a 5.75 mile uphill, up to Mt. Moosilauke, which we have done before, but not via the AT. It's the first above treeline hiking for northbounders. And boy is it an uphill to get there! But very pretty forest, and gorgeous up top. About one mile from the summit, we hit the ridgeline, and it was a beautiful walk. It was cloudy but with a high ceiling, no wind, no bugs, cool. Can't complain! We had lots of company on the summit. A few thruhikers and lots of dayhikers. We had lunch at the top, taking in the views and enjoying the alpine tundra. Then it was the downhill on the other side. As a hiker wrote in the Beaver Brook register: "I am not looking forward to dropping off the face of the earth!" It was incredibly rocky and steep. But it did follow the Beaver Brook which had many cascades and was quite pretty. Down to the Notch by 4pm and then into town for pizza. It may not be the same as thruhiking, but finishing off the trail in sections does have its advantages! No big packs, not as much smell (still a bit! all our clothes still smell :-) ), plus cotton clothes and pizza at the end of the day! We're camped at one of the forest service campgrounds along Rt. 112, and Ryan has built us a great fire! Hairball would be proud :-)
Flora and fauna notes: Saw a Broad-winged hawk and several Golden-crowned Kinglets flitting in the trees. The bunchberries, particularly along the ridge before the summit, were showing off their bright red berries. Very pretty.

Mix of sun & clouds, nice
so, we're back on the trail. it only took a year. i wanted to be certain our first foray onto the at this year was a good one, so i'm glad we waited. after thinking i was fixed from my injuries from last summer, then getting reinjured, some serious pt was in order. then a lot of patience. so, i did my exercises and took it easy since april. and, it's paying off. i've been running a little, but i've clawed my way up to 3 miles without any knee pain. it's been my knees that have been the culprit this time. lots of running and hiking in my past have left them grouchy. but, like i said, it feels like things are turning around, which is exciting. danielle has been patient with me and very supportive, so she gets a lot of credit. so, after a little running and some shorter test hikes, i felt ready to hit the at. of course, we picked a fairly hard section...well, because we're dumb. but, it was awesome. no pain. basically it was a long climb with a steep downhill. stupid steep. not a lot of fun. but, then again hiking isn't really fun. it doesn't really matter where we went or what we saw because it was just good to be back on the trail together. it was a great day. and, we're 9 miles closer to our goal: walking past all the white blazes...together.
today's song: 18 and life, skid row - sometimes the only thing to get you through a long climb is a hair metal classic.