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[at-l] Something trail related.....



Thanks for posting something trail related! Enjoyed your report.


southwalker99@alltel.net
ME-GA99
In hiking there is no special recognition given for speed style or =
finesse, there
are only those who do the hike and those who don't.

  ----- Original Message -----=20
  From: SRSharpe@aol.com=20
  To: at-l@mailman.backcountry.net=20
  Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2001 7:15 AM
  Subject: [at-l] Something trail related.....


  We interrupt this "debate" about RnR, for some relaxation and =
recreation -- a=20
  trip report...  Short trip - kinda long report.... Delete as necessary =
;-)

  Started out with a plan for 4 days 4 nites on Franconia Ridge and down =
into=20
  the Pemi Valley, a very nice loop with a stop at Galehead Hut - never =
stayed=20
  in a hut before.  Monday - drive up from Natick, MA ....Lincoln Woods =
trail=20
  to Osseo Trail to Liberty Springs campsite - and that's a LONG .3 mi =
down and=20
  back up!  Very nice campsite and Caretaker Rob was very nice as well.  =
Met 4=20
  other section hikers at Liberty Spring, but it was raining all evening =
so=20
  nobody really socialized - (ooh that dirty word!)  It had started to =
cloud=20
  over by the time we parked the car and was very misty on the ridge - =
i.e. NO=20
  views at all.  This persisted ALL DAY tuesday as we walked the =
Franconia=20
  Ridge... we were bummed by the absence of any view at all (except for =
maybe=20
  100 yds in front of us).  But this had its own beauty since things =
just kept=20
  appearing out of nowhere and we were always sort of guessing where we =
were. =20
  It also kept any bugs completely away! =20

  I got to check out my brand spankin' new (12 ounce - I weighed it on =
the=20
  scale at REI) Marmot Precip jacket.  I pronounce it awesome!  It =
completely=20
  blocked the wind and even when hiking it was able to vent any sweat so =
it did=20
  not feel clammy at all!  How do they DO that?  It never really poured =
on us,=20
  just misty and rainy (but not raining, if ya know what I mean).  We =
did have=20
  one or two breaks in the mist when the sun broke through, but we still =

  couldn't see anything that would qualify as a view.  I had been there =
before=20
  on a perfect day, but my poor friend Rhonda had heard me building up =
this=20
  great hike and the views for about a week......=20

  Coming down Lafayette I rolled my ankle - after about 30 seconds of =
pain and=20
  fear that my hike was all done and wondering how the hell we'd get =
out, I=20
  realized it was going to remain functional.  So we hiked on.  Before =
we=20
  summitted Garfield (which was completely fogged in again =3D no view!) =
I had=20
  rolled it 2 more times, by now sore but still functional.   We were =
beginning=20
  to worry about making it to Galehead Hut at all, much less in time for =

  dinner!   And what big fun coming down from Garfield!  Never climbed =
down an=20
  active waterfall with a 30 lb pack on my back and a sprained ankle....

  We got to a point where we could see a "house" in the trees ahead.  =
Decided=20
  it must be Galehead Hut, what else could it be?   Funny how distance =
and=20
  steepness are so magnified at the end of a long day.  We both conceded =
that=20
  we had maybe planned too long a day, but nothing to do but go on!   As =
we=20
  were passing the last side trail (Gale Wind Tr??) with .6 to go, a =
thru hiker=20
  blew by us - Rocket Man (aptly named), asked if we were going to =
Galehead,=20
  said he was too.

  We finally got to the hut at 6:30, just in time to immediately sit =
down for=20
  dinner, NOT so good for the quads and calves, but oh so yummy for the =
tummy! =20
  I did take time to get out of my boots and check out my ankle.... a =
little=20
  swelling but seemed not too bad.  Wrapped it up with some tape, kept =
it=20
  elevated, and hoped for the best....

  Loved the hut!  It was completely rebuilt in '99 and was absolutely =
gorgeous!=20
   Bunks were 4 high, but there were only about 15 of us there so nobody =
had to=20
  sleep up top.  Dinner was fabulous and we had a little nature walk =
after.  We=20
  were invited by the Croo to climb Galehead (.5 each way).. I passed on =
that=20
  for the evening...  We were introduced to the Croo and Rocket Man =
(Billy) who=20
  is 17 and is thru hiking with his Mom (Mother Goose)!  His little =
brother=20
  (Little Rocket Man) hiked with them until Vermont.  They started Feb =
4. =20
  Mother Goose rolled in about 9am next morning with 3 other thru hikers =
-=20
  didn't get their names.  What a great thing for Mom and son to do =
together. =20
  They are loving it and don't relish the thought of finishing and =
returning to=20
  their other life.

  By morning my ankle was a lovely shade of purple, but still functional =
-=20
  stiff but functional.  Any of my athletes with an ankle looking like =
that=20
  would be in a boot cast and on ice for the next 2 days at least!  At =
$60 a=20
  nite Galehead Hut didn't seem the place to lay around.  Original plan =
was to=20
  go to Thoreau Falls Trail, Wilderness Trail, camping someplace when we =
got=20
  tired, up Franconia Brook Tr to 13 Falls Campsite and back to the car. =
 That=20
  seemed a little ambitious and I was pretty unsure of my ankle so we =
decided=20
  to go down Twin Brook trail and maybe stay at 13 falls and walk out a =
day=20
  early.  We hung out at Galehead til 11am, did the hike up to Galehead =
itself=20
  to see the view (of course this was a perfect day with views all =
around!  Of=20
  all the hikers we met and all the times everyone had been on Garfield, =
NONE=20
  of us had ever had a view from there - always fogged in!)  We got to =
13 Falls=20
  about 1:00 and hung out there til 3.  I put my ankle in the cold water =
(a=20
  natural cold whirlpool), which felt GREAT!   This is one of the most=20
  beautiful places I have ever seen.  Water rushing all around, flat =
rocks to=20
  hang out on, sun shining but cold water whenever you wanted a little =
dip....=20
  a little bit of heaven!  Rhonda broke out her stove and made =
burritos.....=20
  Good Livin'!

  Then the plan was to walk to the last legal place we could camp, which =
as=20
  near as we could figure was about 5 miles from the car.  Well, =
Franconia=20
  Brook Trail is a completely flat, wide, straight as an arrow railroad =
bed=20
  with several water crossings (boring under most circumstances, but my =
ankle=20
  was very happy about it), so we just kept walking and made it to the =
car by=20
  7pm.  I figured my ankle was functional then, but might not be the =
next=20
  morning....   So, while it didn't turn out as planned, it was a =
wonderful=20
  time..... As it turned out, the beauty of our ridge walk plan was that =
there=20
  were so many bail-out opportunities if needed.  Not exactly the big=20
  "transition" from my career to being a student that I wanted it to be, =
but=20
  still it was great!  I don't see me heading up Mt. Garfield anytime =
soon=20
  however!  That was a killer! =20

  Thanks to all who offered advice on a good route.  Especially to see =
13=20
  Falls!  Now back to our regularly scheduled debate.......


  Sharon
  Poor Graduate Student
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  AT-L@mailman.backcountry.net
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