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 of Mt Garfield 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 Greenleaf 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