Day 121 – Hikers Welcome Hostel to Kinsman Notch (mile 1795.9)

We got up this morning after an action packed night of old dudes farting and snoring like buzz saws. Ahh hostels…will not miss them at all I think. The power was still out there from last night, so we resorted to hiker gruel for breakfast. We headed out around 8am and almost immediately started the climb up Moosilauke. The ascent was big and steep, but not as bad as I thought it would be. It was rocky and rooty, but didn’t require any scrambles or any major changes to our pace. It was wet and slick though and we climbed up in a cloud of mist. We eventually hit the tree line, where the trees are 8 feet tall or shorter or nonexistent, and it was misty and mysterious looking up on top of this giant.


Climbing above the tree line on Moosilauke

The trees disappeared up on the summit. They use rock cairns up here above tree line to mark the trail. It gave it a cool look in the mist.


Cairn marking the trail on top of Moosilauke, Trippy hiking along it


Trail following the misty cairns

We hit the actual summit and had no views unfortunately.


Where are we?

Kind of a bummer, but we were psyched to be on top of this monster nonetheless.

We headed down quickly because the wind was insane up there. It was quite cold and damp. The descent started slowly enough and it actually started to clear up as we went down a bit on the north side.


View from the Beaver Brook Shelter at lunch

After the shelter, the descent got crazy. It was super steep, like no other climb down we have had. We moved at only about 1.5 mph at best because of all the slick rocks. It was really beautiful though, as much of it went down along a gushing waterfall.


Waterfall on north side of Moosilauke


Wood blocks fastened to the rock helped along some of the brutal descent

We eventually climbed down many slick and dangerous rocks and got to Kinsman Notch around 2pm, which was a parking lot and a small mountain highway. We needed to get into North Woodstock to grab a maildrop at the post office. We tried to hitch for a bit, but had no luck, probably because I was creeping peeps out. Another thru-hiker named Billy Goat came down and we all called a shuttle service to get to town 5 miles away. We got to town and promptly decided to take a zero day here tomorrow. Both of us are feeling a bit fatigued and we’d like to rest a bit more before tackling more of the challenges ahead. North Woodstock seems like a tourist town with a lot of cool things to check out. I approve of the microbrewery in town, named the Woodstock Inn.

Vital stats for Thursday, August 14th :
Miles hiked today – 9.3
Mood – psyched to have done Moosilauke (and it wasn’t that bad)
Physical state – good
Smell – New England fresh
Song stuck in my head – Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills, and Nash

5 thoughts on “Day 121 – Hikers Welcome Hostel to Kinsman Notch (mile 1795.9)

  1. Elias

    That is a wonderful post. I love how you described the hostel and trail. Thanks for taking the time and expending the energy to keep us all up to date. You may or may not miss hostels but I am definitely going to miss your posts when you complete your lil’ walk so very soon. God Bless and stay safe.

  2. Mom - Tapey

    Amazing post about an amazing hike from amazing hikers! You do more challenging and amazing things each day. Thank you for sharing your hike with us. We’ll be asking you questions about this hike forever!! I’m so glad you’re taking a zero day to rest and recuperate from the last few grueling days. I do hear the Big K calling your names! The blue tab in my book keeps moving downward. When you started your hike that blue tab seemed a long way from the end of the book…but not any more! More and larger sneaker wings come along with this message. Sending restful, relaxing, rejuventating thoughts, many more prayers and lots and lots of love.

    1. Joel Post author

      Mom… Thank you for your constant encouragement and support. However, we are wondering, what exactly are sneaker wings?

      1. Mom - Tapey

        I ordered the sneaker wings from the official AT site and included them in each of the mail drops. Didn’t you see them? They are available in a variety of sizes; I ordered several different ones. You attach them to your shoes – according to the site they can attach just about anywhere on your shoes – and they make the hiking easier. Hope you enjoy them!
        Dad Packy says that first you pound them into thin strips, fry them up with hot sauce and dip them in blue cheese. You eat these sneaker wings when there is no trail magic around.


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