Saturday, November 8, 2014


WE FINISHED THE WHITES!!!!  Thursday 6 Nov we summitted Mt Moosilauke and finished The Whites.  Today we are getting on trail at Gorham, NH and heading north to finish a small section of southern Maine.  Then we will be back in Glencliff, NH and head on south to Virginia to finish

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ride Secured!!

We have stumbled upon an amazing trail angel in Woodstock, NH who is helping us with our ride.  We will head up to Gorham, NH on Friday and begin our trek north to finish the very southern section of Maine.  Then when finished we will head back to Warren, NH and head south to Virginia.  Thanks for everyones continued support

Friday, October 31, 2014

Need a ride back up to Caratunk, Maine

We are finishing the Whites and should be in Warren/Plymouth, NH on Monday or Tuesday. At that time we need a ride up to Caratunk, Maine to complete a section of southern Maine we skipped to do the Whites.

Is there anyone who could help us out with a ride from Warren/Plymouth, New Hampshire to Caratunk, Maine?

If so, leave me a voice mail, 404-234-6513.

Thanks, Hendo and Hendo's Mom

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Gear We Use

Here is the gear we are using.  The brands/styles I am listing are what we have or are an ideal recommendation. If you google the items you will probably find them online at different sites much cheaper than on the brand sites I listed.

This is what is in our backpacks:

>Sleeping Bag – you will want a 0-20 degree bag, a Dri-Down(water resistant down) bag is ideal
>Sleeping Bag Liner – Whatever the rating is of the liner, for example the one below is 25 degrees, the liner adds 25 degrees of additional temp protection to your bag rating.  So if your bag is rated at 30-40 degrees a 25 degree liner inside your 30- 40 degree bag will give you the protection a 5-15 degree bag alone would give you.  In the warm months we would just sleep in our liners ontop of our bags.  In the winter we stay toasty warm.
>Waterproof Sleeping Bag Compression Bag
>Sleeping Pad – Needs to be a closed-cell foam pad like the green army pads or an INSULATED inflatable pad
>Tent  - tent, poles,pegs, footprint (ground cloth, most common and lightest option is a piece of Tyvek sheeting from Home Depot/Lowes), we have a 3-person, but out here on the trail most individuals carry a 2-person with the below the most popular.  This allows you to get you and your pack inside.
>Stove- we have a jet boil, one fuel canister will store inside the stove, a 2nd canister will go in your miscellaneous bag
>Camp Shoes/River Fording – Crocs or Teva type sandals, lightweight no heavy Keen sandals
>Water bottles – need to carry 2 liters of water
>Food Bags – We each carry 2 bags, one 8L waterproof bag (hold our meals) and one 5L waterproof bag (holds our snacks)
>Wet Weather Top- we just get these from Walmart, NOT the breathable ones, but the $21 top & bottom set.  We often wear this alone as a windbreaker or over our down coat to layer for cold weather.
>Wet Weather Bottom- we wear these for wind protection and warmth more than anything.
>Backpack Rain Cover - The Sea to Summit covers work great and actually keep our packs dry
>Head lamp

>Water Purification 
>Bandana, to wipe sweat from your face during the day, can also be used as a bandage/tourniquet, can wrap ankle in case of sprain, comes in handy along the way

>1 carabineer, used to hang food bags at night, hang backpack, retrieve bag or person in case of emergency, etc.

>50 feet 550-cord, used to hang food bags at night, retrieve bag or person in case of emergency

>Small Trowel, your toilet
>Roll of Toilet Paper, in ziploc bag


>Cell Phone, in Ziploc or waterproof case

>Cell Phone Charger

>Camera, in Ziploc or waterproof case

>7L Waterproof bag to store the below miscellaneous items:

++Stove Fuel- if using your jet boil bring 2 small 3.5 oz canisters or one large 8 oz canister.
++First Aid Items:  1 roll athletic tape, 1 tube neosporin, ziploc bag of motrin, tweezers, toenail clippers, 2-2in gauze pads, hydrocortisone cream, small bottle Gold Bond Powder
++Extra set head lamp batteries
++Extra set of batteries for Steri Pen water purification
++Extra set of batteries for camera
++Fire starters
++any needed medications

>13L Waterproof Clothing Bag – this one bag is what we keep all of the below listed clothing items in:
++Down Jacket
++Winter Hat – any fleece watch cap will do or lined knit cap will do
++Winter gloves/mittens – we have mittens with fold down finger cover, keeps the hands warmer
++Extra pair of pants

++Extra shirt – long sleeve or short sleeve wicking/synthetic material, during the warmer months we carried an extra t-shirt in the cold months we carried an extra long-sleeve shirt

++Extra pair of wool socks
++Sleep top – base layer long underwear, I wear the army issue waffle shirt

++Sleep bottoms - base layer long underwear, I wear the army issue waffle bottoms

++Sleep Socks - a pair of wool socks

>Clothing to wear

++Long Sleeve or Short Sleeve Shirt – synthetic/wicking material shirt, in the warmer months we wore t-shirts in the colder months we wore long sleeve shirts



++Wool Socks

++Shoes- trail runners are what we and most everyone out here wears, not boots

++Pocket Knife

++Wallet in Ziploc Bag

++Baseball Cap

Gotta Finish

I know this is taking us longer than it takes most and recently more and more friends/people I know are telling me I should just quit and come back next year and finish.  But unless you have attempted or successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail then you won't understand that I can't, I need to finish because I want to be a thru-hiker.

Our trail friend Drag n' Fly is a great example of the determination thru-hikers have.  On two previous occasions Drag n' Fly previously began hiking the trail at Springer Mtn, GA but did not complete the entire trail in one hike, so she was not a thru-hiker.  This year, at age 74 Drag n' fly started at Springer Mtn, Ga for a 3rd time and headed north.  Yes, she could have just gone back to where she had quit the trail before and finished, but she would have sectioned hiked the AT, not thru-hiked the AT, and Drag n' Fly wanted to be a Thru-Hiker.  So she set out for a third time and she did it, she is now an AT Thru-Hiker.  And if she can do so can I.

So...I am going to keep on trekking and finish this thing.  Mom says she is going to continue on with me as well, but I have made it clear to her she can quit at anytime, but she says she wants to continue on.

Please know that we are being safe and not putting our lives at risk, that is why we have been sitting out the last week here in the Whites, waiting for the weather to clear up so we can finish this crazy weather section.  The rest of the trail does not have the extreme winds and weather that the above treeline Whites have.

So if you don't have words of encouragement please don't comment, I just can't deal with the "You need to quit" comments anymore.  Too many people have invested too much, time, money and effort for me to quit just because it is taking me a little longer than others.  Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us along the way and I will make certain to finish!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

14-28 October: Trying to finish these here Whites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So we have the hardest part of The Whites done, The Presidential Range, so let's get the rest knocked out real quick like.  Well, Mother Nature again, seems to have a different plan.  Neither Mom or myself want to become a rescue statistic, so while we are not sitting out every rainy day, we are definitely listening to the weather forecasts and not putting ourselves in danger.

Tuesday 14 October, we enjoyed a great dinner at an Indian Restaurant in Conway, NH and a nights sleep and shower in a hotel room last night.  This morning we had a great breakfast at Peach's and Hendo bought some new Brooks Cascadia shoes.  So we are ready to get at it.  After a long semi-steep uphill hike out of Crawford Notch, the trail flattened out into a gorgeous and enjoyable stretch of trail to a stealth campsite just north of Zealand Hut.

Wednesday 15 October, Today we left our stealth campsite and headed on south, stopping by Zealand Hut to use the privy.  While at the Hut we were offered some breakfast leftovers and gladly accepted and enjoyed!!  Then it was onward to Galehead Hut, to ask for Work For Stay and spend another night out of the elements.  As the day went on the weather moved in and we ended up getting rained on at the end of the day.  The final 0.8 of a mile down to Galehead Hut was quite a doozy, but we made it!!  We summitted Mt Guyot and South Twin Mountain today, but were only able to get summit photos with our memorial stones on Mt. Guyot as it was raining when we summitted South Twin and our camera isn't water proof.

Hendo's Mom with MSgt Love's Memorial Stone on the summit of Mt. Guyot

Hendo with SPC Cassavant's memorial stone on the summit of Mt. Guyot

Thursday 16 October, Mother Nature thunder stormed all day today so we spent the day at Galehead Hut, helping clean the privys from ceiling to floor for our work for stay.  While looking through the old Hut Logs we found where Earl Shaffer, the first AT Northbound Thru-hiker in 1948, signed the log during his 1965 Southbound Thru-Hike
Earl Shaffer, last entry on page

Friday 17 October, today the storms subsided so we ventured on southward and ended up at Garfield Ridge Campsite for the night.
Looking back at Galehead Hut in the saddle

The AT is routed up a stream for part of the way leading up to Garfield Ridge Campground and then suddenly the trail Y's off to the left and parallels the stream.  So no, you aren't looking at a picture of a stream, that is a picture of the AT.  It is really nuts, no reason it couldn't be routed parallel to the stream the whole way.
AT/stream up to Garfield Ridge Campsite

Mom fell and dinged up her knee real good hiking to Garfield Ridge Campsite

Saturday 18 October, Today we made it from Garfield Ridge Campsite, summitted Mt. Garfield, summitted Mt. Lafayette, and then had to bail off the ridge down to Greenleaf Hut do to crazy bad weather.  We weren't able to take pictures on Mt Lafayette because of the sideways blowing sleet and crazy winds.  The Croo at Greenleaf Hut graciously welcomed us in and allowed us to Work For Stay for the evening.
Hendo on the summit with SPC Cassavant's memorial stone

Hendo's Mom on the summit of Mt. Garfield with MSGt Love's memorial stone.

Sunday 19 October, the weather only got worse on the ridge overnight, so Sunday morning we headed on down to Franconia Notch via a side trail, because the Hut was closing today so we couldn't wait out the bad weather at the Hut for a day.  We slipped on our micro-spikes and make great time down into Franconia Notch.  We were able to hitch a ride into Lincoln and spent the day/night at Chet's Place, an awesome hostel in town.
The winter wonderland greeting us Sunday morning ourtside Greenlead Hut

Hendo's bruised and battered legs, dudes dig battle scars right?

Monday 20 October - Saturday 25 October, CVMA brother Hammer picked us up in Lincoln, NH and gave us a place to stay at the motel he owns, Northwoods Motel, while we waited out the weather all week.  It was raining, blowing and flooding all week along Franconia Ridge.  Hammer dropped us back off at the trailhead Saturday and we spent the night at Lafayette Campground.

Sunday 26 October, When we woke up this morning our food bags were gone so we had to go back into town.  Turns out a gentlemen named Scott from Massachusetts mistakenly took our food bags. Scott thought that the Boy Scouts camped across from our location left the food bags in the trees. Since Scott would be passing by the town the Boy Scouts were from on his way home, he took down the bags and delivered them to the Boy Scouts. Upon delivering our bags to the Boy Scouts he learned that they were in fact our bags. Scott tracked down our website and left me text and voicemails. I called and spoke with him. He is going to reimburse us for the cost of our replacement food and bags that we had to buy and is mailing our bags to us on down the trail. So all is well, and he meant well. Good to learn that they weren't stolen, just a misunderstanding.  While we were in town Sunday buying our new bags we met a fellow 2014 thru-hiker at the local gear shop, Lahout's.  Flea offered to take us home and feed and house us for the night.  Of course we gladly accepted.  So we got some awesome homemade chili and wine, a hot shower and comfy bed for the night...and no work for stay was required.

Monday 27 October, Flea dropped us off at Lafayette Campground this and we hiked to Lonesome Lake Hut to pick up the AT and head north over Franconia Notch.  It was a pretty nice day of hiking, but Hendo's feet were killing her by the end of the day.  We wanted to make it to Liberty Springs Campsite, but stopped 2.9 miles short at the Liberty Springs Trailhead and set up camp for the night.    
Hendo fording Cascade Brook

Tuesday 28 October,  The weather was supposed to be nice today, but ended up being stormy on top of Lafayette, so we were not able to finish Franconia Ridge yet and caught a ride into Lincoln, NH

11-13 October: The Southern Presidentials

Saturday 11 Oct, Mother Nature reared her head again and we had to wait out a day to begin our trek from Mt. Washington south.

Sunday 12 October, When we arrived back on top of Mt. Washington this morning, the scene was very different from 6 days earlier.  When we initially arrived at the Summit of Mt. Washington at 0915 hrs this morning it was 0 degrees, with negative windchills, 50-60 mph wind gusts, zero visibiility and rime ice was covering everything.  Rime Ice  The weather folks on the summit said the conditions were going to improve so we enjoyed some hot food at the restaurant and waited to see.  The weather guy was right, 3 hours later the clouds disappeared, the winds quit and we were good to go for hiking.  We strapped on our Katoola micro-spikes Micro Spikes and headed south.
Hendo's Mom and Hendo geared up/bundled up, on the summit of Mt. Washington, everything is covered in Rime Ice.

Hendo and Hendo's Mom headed south down Mt. Washington

Close-up picture of Rime Ice on blades of grass on the ground

Heading down Mt. Washington with undercast, ie. the clouds are below us in the background.

Our micro-spikes worked great and the day turned out to be absolutely beautiful.  Along the way we summitted Mt. Franklin and Mt. Pierce.  We were able to get pictures with our Memorial Stones on Mt. Franklin, but the weather was beginning to turn bad and it was getting dark when we summitted Mt. Pierce, so unfortunately we were not able to get pictures on Mt. Pierce.
Hendo's Mom with MSgt Love's Memorial Stone on the Summit of Mt. Franklin

Hendo with SPC Cassavant's Stone on Mt. Franklin

A Gray Jay stopped by to say high.  Some of the only wildlife we have seen while in The Whites.

A stairway/ladder along the trail on our way to Mizpah Shelter where we spent the night.  We did work stay again, yay!!

Monday 13 October, Wow, what a change one night makes.  Today we woke up to an absolutely gorgeous day, no rime ice or cloud in site.  Today we finished off the second half of the southern Presidentials, hiking from Mizpah Hut, summitting Mt. Jackson, summitting Mt. Webster, traversing Webster Cliffs and then descending down into Crawford Notch.  It was a great day of hiking except for the last bit across and down Webster Cliffs into Crawford Notch.  The hike down was very steep and Mom was not a happy camper.  No one had mentioned that this section of the trail was so steep, treacherous or gnarly, but note to is!!  Go up it, not down it!!!  We made it though and completed The Presidential Range, yay!!  We went into Conway for the night, as Hendo needed a new pair of shoes.
Looking back at Mizpah Hut, little white speck off in the distance.  Mt. Washington and Presidential Range in the background.

Mizpah Hut

Hendo's Mom at the summit of Mt. Jackson

Hendo on the summit of Mt. Jackson

Hendo on the summit of Mt. Webster

Hendo's Mom on the summit of Mt. Webster