Viva la Monkey Tribe! Upstate, checking in. Hope this post finds each of you faithful followers well! Loop and I are in Gorham, NH, desperately searching for excuses to NOT start hiking for the day. Haha, so far we've done a great job.
There's o-so-much that's happened since we left you in Hanover. After our last post, Loop and I enjoyed a nice afternoon in Hanover, eating approx. 10lbs. of pizza and Mrs. Pam's "power cookies" and seeing "Super 8" with Bean and Six-String at the local cinema. It was almost a perfect evening too. Almost perfect until we walked out of the theater to a raging wind and a sky-full of ominous clouds that seemed to be saying, "you have about 3 minutes before we unleash the fire-hose fury on you." This wouldn't have been a problem at all (what with plenty of restaurants and cafes around for ducking-into) except that Loop and I had stashed our packs in some bushes earlier in the afternoon, down at the bottom end of town (approx. half a mile away). You could probably have seen our faces drop with the realization that our un-covered packs were in imminent danger of being soaked through. Only one thing to do in these situations...run. Run fast. I actually took 30 seconds to lace up my shoes for the sprint--Loop pushed on with reckless abandon. I can't explain what it feels like to use running muscles after being so used to walking all day with a load on your back. But, I'm sure it looks pretty un-gazelle-like. It certainly doesn't look better when you're running with an all-you-can-eat-pizza-chocolate cakey-food baby belly. I mean, we were uncomfortably full just sitting in the movie theater. So anyway, we ran. It started to really pour after about 300yds, and we were fairly soaked by the time we made our packs. Feeling a bit discouraged that we were now wet, and it was dark AND we hadn't put a single second's thought into sleeping arrangements, we decided to walk back into town to solve all of these problems over a pint of LongTrail and Ben and Jerry's. As 12am drew near and we still didn't know where to sleep (we had pretty much wimped out on hiking out of town with headlamps and setting up a tent in the rain at this point), we decided to just walk toward the edge of town, hoping to chance on some college student who may offer to let us crash on his couch. Wishful thinking right? The trail can mess with your rational-thinking skills. Unsuccessful, of course. Totally defeated, we reached the end of town and started to walk through a wet field towards the woods...and then our eyes fell on the home dugout of an undisclosed and particular Ivy League school's lacrosse field. There it stood, like a shining beacon of the most radiant light. The most radiant and dry and not soaking wet light. Oh yes, we did. And so would you if you had been in our shoes. Wanting to avoid an uncomfortable interchange where we sleepily tried to explain why we were sleeping here to a pack of geared-up athletes waiting to start practice, we moved out before dawn. And so was the entering of the mountains of Vermont. Mt. Moosilauke, or the gateway to the White Mountains, was the first big climb, and was a very rude awakening to the degree of difficulty of hiking that was to come. But the beauty of this area is truly beyond description. In a nutshell, the Whites have been a big pile of 2,000+ foot almost-vertical climbs and descents, unusually perfect weather, spectacular valley views, extended treks above treeline, remote camping spots and the most fun that I've had hiking on the first 1,900 miles of this never-ending trail. Memorable peaks include Smarts and Cube (actually not part of The Whites), Moosilauke and the North and South Kinsmans, Lincoln, LaFayette, Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Washington and Madison (most of these are part of a small section of peaks commonly referred to as "the Presidentials"), all with breath-taking views of surrounding valleys and peaks. I wish I could go into more detail, but I think I'm about to be kicked out of the Gorham Library! I'll have to tell y'all about our work-for-stay at Lakes of the Clouds hut, the ascent of Mt. Washington, our new friend "Face Jacket" and our stay at the White Mountain Hostel and Inn on a later day! Only a few days 'til we get to meet Caboose in Maine! Boy are we pumped.
Sorry for the rather abrupt conclusion to this post--circumstances just won't allow any further illustrative writing! Haha. You folks stay classy. We'll keep moving along.
Six String, Loop, Upstate & Bean after seeing "Super 8" in Hanover [just before the bottom dropped out & everyone had to run half a mile with a full belly]
Dinner at Lakes of the Clouds hut. [left side from front: Brownie, Loop, Upstate, Face Jacket, Tide, Kiddo. Right Side from front: Beer Hunter, Timber, Seaweed, El Bear Jew, Rock Puncher, Hot Sauce, Beau]