Day 166- 9.3.15
Fancy Pants: We hiked 10.6 miles today (1865.1-1875.7). The 5 “relatively flat” miles we hiked to the Pinkham Notch Visitor’s Center were not actually flat and we were drenched with sweat when we arrived. It was nice to get water that didn’t need to be filtered though. We bought a few snacks and then headed back out to hike the Wildcat Mountain peaks. Just as we’d heard, it was brutal. We were so thirsty, but had to ration water until we reached the next hut. I was hiking at less than 1 mph. Beerman was slackpacking and passed me at the perfect time- I think he saved me from having a meltdown. You can’t have a meltdown with witnesses! When we reached the gondola (Wildcat Peak B is also a ski slope), we hoped that the guys working had some water, but they didn’t. They are really missing out of a side job by not selling water to hikers!
Thankfully, after the second peak, the hike was not nearly as difficult as the initial climb. We ate the Snickers we picked up at Pinkham Notch and headed towards Carter Notch Hut. Since we arrived to the Hut at 4, we had to wait awhile before they said we could do WFS, just in case some hikers came a bit later. While we were waiting, Greg came by! He stopped heading north somewhere in Virginia and decided to start SOBO. BC is only a day or two behind him! For our WFS, we refolded and organized the shirts for sale at the hut and did the dishes after dinner.
Today, we also realized that our original plan to meet up with Landon in Maine wasn’t going to work out. There’s a 31-mile stretch of trail with zero road crossings coming up, and we realized we wouldn’t be able to make it through that entire stretch by Sunday afternoon. That would have us averaging more than 18 miles per day on terrain as difficult as the terrain we are currently hiking.
Day 167- 9.4.15
Fancy Pants: We hiked 7.2 miles today (1875.7-1882.9). We woke up early to pack and get out of the dining room before breakfast. It was nice to have running water for a change J. We said bye to Greg and headed up Carter Dome. Once we got to the top, we sat with Fox and took in the view. We met a group of hikers at Zeta Pass who shared their snacks with us. And then ran into two women who had just completed their 48th and final 4,000 footer in New Hampshire and they shared snacks with us as well. We then met the Town Selectman (like a mayor in NH) for Gorham, NH named Camo who gave us each a Snickers bar. Fox joked that he needed to hike with us more often! Fox is on a time constraint to reach Katahdin and we’re slowing down to meet up with Landon in Gorham, so we stopped at the Imp Campsite and did WFS.
Day 168- 9.5.15
Fancy Pants: We hiked 8 miles today (1882.9-1890.9). It was nice to try to sleep in and pack up leisurely today. We ran into Katherine on Mount Moriah and hung out together to take in the views. Camo had said these would be our last great views on the AT for a while, so we took our time. Once we got to the route 2-road crossing, we stopped at the hostel to pick up our packages and charge our phones. We tried “The Tonight Dough” Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and I think it is my new favorite- better than Half Baked. We ate lunch at Mr. Pizza with Katherine (peppers and onions count as one pizza topping here!), and then hitched a ride back to the trail. The person who stopped to pick us up is the sister of Moosehead (Tyler) who was working at Carter Notch Hut- small world. We camped at a site across the river from the trail that we had spotted earlier.
Day 169- 9.6.15
Fancy Pants: Zero day in Gorham, NH. We hitched into town around 11am, but assumed that we would be waiting around for a while to get into the room. Because Landon called ahead and asked for an early check-in, we got right into the room. We were so excited to finally take showers- our last showers were in Norwich, VT. Not long after Fuego came back from the Laundromat, Landon and Matt arrived! As we were leaving town to drive up the Mount Washington auto road, we spotted BC and Buttercup walking on the sidewalk and pulled over to say hi.
The auto road was expensive, but really cool. It’s 8 miles long and comes with a CD that has some historical information and facts to listen on the drive up. It was really cool to see the White Mountains from a different perspective. We’ve see all of the views from the AT, but there was definitely a lot of different areas we could see from the pull-off areas along the auto road. We met back up with BC and Buttercup and they took some much-needed showers at our hotel room. We watched Step Brothers on TV and then fell asleep.
Day 170- 9.7.15
Fancy Pants: Zero day in Rangeley, Maine. We woke up and were on our way by 9:45. The drive from Gorham to Rangeley was gorgeous. Lots of mountain views, driving along a river and the first signs of fall everywhere. We drove through town before stopping at our cabin and it is so cute! Our cabin was right along the lake at Town and Lake Motel (and their hiker rate is awesome!). The second we got there, we all decided to stay an extra night. The cabin was a two-room house with a nice living room and a really big porch overlooking the lake. There was also a seaplane business a few doors down, so we got to see a few sea planes take off on and land on the lake.
We took the kayaks out in the afternoon. Landon ended up flipping his kayak over in the middle of the lake and we had to turn his kayak over, get the water out and try to steady it so he could get back in. It was pretty windy and I know he was cold. We made Mexican food for dinner, and then made a fire in the fire pit by the lake.
Day 171- 9.8.15
Fancy Pants: Zero day in Rangeley, Maine. We woke up early to see the sunrise, but it was pretty cloudy, so we all went back to sleep. We made cornbread pancakes and eggs for breakfast. At the recommendation of a few others, we went to Smalls Falls. The guys all jumped off the cliff into the water. I debated it for a while, but decided not to. Some guy there psyched me out about hitting the rocks on my way down (and I am too close to the end of my hike to get an injury and go home). After we got back, we did a lot more lounging around than we had yesterday. A great way to spend a zero day.
Day 172- 9.9.15
Fancy Pants: We hiked 6.9 miles today (1890.9- 1897.8). If you round up, we hiked our first 007 (two zeroes followed by a 7 mile day). We woke up early so we wouldn’t be getting back on the trail too late. It was nice to think, “I wish we could go back to Maine!” and know we’d be back in Maine tomorrow. We had lunch at Subway, and then Matt and Landon dropped us off at the trailhead. We road walked ¾ of a mile, then turned back into the woods. It is entirely too hot for September in New Hampshire! We ran into Sputnik and Fair Enough hiking southbound. Sputnik said she was having a terrible hiking day and turned around to head back into town. They’re renting a car to meet up with her family that is on vacation right now in Cape Cod.
The climb up was pretty rough, but there was a nice view and breeze at the top. We arrived to the campsite and set up as it got cold. It also rained a little over night. We also found out today that our friend who started the trail 10 days before us, Harley (aka Cray Nip), was injured just outside of Rangeley, Maine and got off trail. Hoping he can get back on the trail to finish this year.