After the rough day yesterday, we were awoken even more roughly around 4am by the encroachment of a large puddle in our sleeping area. Ugh, we slept in a basin in the pseudo-established site we were in. That was totally a horrible way to start the day. It poured for a good chunk of the night when the forecast said it was supposed to be mostly dry. We should have known to not trust the forecast here in the Whites. We were mostly dry, but some clothes, our sleeping pads, and some other gear was wet. By 5 or so, we decided to just get up and get moving and dry our stuff out later. The trail was misty and raw and cold, so it was a pretty miserable morning. We climbed Mount Garfield to no views again because of the seemingly constant cloud we were in.
The descent, as usual, was really slow, slick, and tough. We had multiple minor slips and falls going down. The trail is so insanely rugged here compared to the rest of the AT.
After we got over that, we started the climb up the big mountain of the day, South Twin. Part of the way up though there is a hut named Galehead. Our day got considerably better from this point on I’m happy to report. We went in, warmed up, and bought some hot coffee, cake, carrot bread, and soup from the hut. This was amazing after being frozen, wet, and cold. We then headed up South Twin. The climb wasn’t too bad as far as the Whites go (meaning it’s still harder than pretty much everything else). Also, the clouds started to break up. We saw the sun finally. We rejoiced triumphantly like we had something to do with it! The mist blew out and finally saw why so many people said they love the Whites (we were really really really starting to hate them). We climbed the smaller Mount Guyot to amazing views.
It was spectacular. We also had enough sun to mostly dry all our wet crap out at lunch.
We then gradually descended to the next hut at Zealand Falls. Trippy asked them about leftovers from last night and they gave us a giant platter of stuffed shells. They were super nice. They sometimes give these to thru-hikers so they don’t have to pack it out and hike it out in their trash. What a great “snack”, 1000 or more calories of super cheesy pasta.
To make things even nicer, we had a good 6 mile stretch or so with easy trail after that hut. After having so much difficult trail in the past few days, it was more than welcome.
Tomorrow we summit Mount Washington, the second highest peak on the trail behind only Clingman’s Dome, which we did way back in early May in the Smokies.
We found a very stealthy site that is not in a basin a couple hundred yards off the trail on the descent down to Crawford Notch.
Vital stats for Monday, August 18th :
Miles hiked today – 17.3
Mood – so glad the weather and the day turned for the better
Physical state – beat from the tough trails, but good
Smell – week old turkey sandwich
Song stuck in my head – Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles