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Gutsy's Journals from July 29 -August 8
>Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 21:33:00 -0400
>Subject: Gutsy's Journals from July 29 -August 8
>Gutsy called me with an update yesterday. She was in Rangely, Maine, hiking
>with Geo. She sounded tired, but determined to finish the hike. She estimates
>she will finish about the 27th of the month. I also got her journals this
>week, but she left some days out. Remember, she is still hiking with Lyme
>Disease. Here are her journals; enjoy.
>Monday, July 29th
>Went over Kinsman---16 miles in all. It took me all day to do it, too. I
>hiked south to north and Dan drove to the other end and hiked in to meet me.
>We stayed at a hostel in North Woodstock which was wonderful. They had a
>bathtub, so I enjoyed a long soak.(I think I died and went to heaven!) I
>hadn't had a bath in 9 days. It was so embarassing to go to the hospital with
>dirty toes, but I had cleaned up the best I could and my toenails were too
>sore to scrub on.
>Tuesday, July 30th
>Dan and I started at Franconia notch and hiked up to the ridge. It was a
>horrendous climb which involved a lot of hand scrambling. It looked like rain
>when we started, but cleared when we reached the ridge, so we had beautiful
>views. This was an overnighter, so we spent the night at the Garfield
>Campground. The weather was cool (45), but nice. It was a hard climb and I
>believe I ran a fever again. We didn't make good time, about 1 mile an hour,
>so I agonized over the scheduled 18 miles we were to do Wednesday. I think I
>psyched myself out before the day had even begun. Geo and E-Bear were going
>north to south. Geo was going to camp and E-Bear was trying to find work at a
>hut. (he did at Galehead).We met Geo at the south end of Twin Peak.
>Wednesday, July 31st
>The difficult climbs began first thing in the morning. We left the camp at 6
>am because we had 18 miles to do. We planned on hiking to the car and picking
>up E-Bear and Geo. I was worried that they would have to wait a long time on
>us. I was tired because the climbs over the rocks were forcing me to use all
>my reserves and when Dan tried to show me where the Galehead hut was, (on a
>mountain in the far distance, still), I lost it and just began crying. I knew
>I could never make 18 miles on that terrain. I wasn't in very good conditon
>mentally, and we almost decided that I should bail out and go down another
>trail. I hadn't eaten breakfast because I was sick to my stomach. That
>definitely wasn't in my favor.
>We kept hiking and at the Zealand Hut, we got some leftovers to eat and took
>an hour lunch break. The terrain improved 100% as it followed an old railroad
>bed for 3 miles! The trail evened out after that and we made almost 3 mph on
>it! Physically and mentally, this was reviving. We made it out by 4:15 pm and
>Dan waited on Geo and E-Bear instead of them waiting on us. I did feel sorry
>for them because the rain held off for us until we got out, but poured on
>them all afternoon while they were going over the rocks.
>Thursday, August 1st
>Another good climb today. We are doing a three day pack which includes Mt.
>Washington. We stayed at the AMC hostel in Crawford Notch and I slept well. I
>woke up feeling fresh and ready to hike. At the trail head was a poster with
>two ladies' pictures advertising for "two good men" One of the ladies was
>Crazy Toes' wife! I wish I could see his face when he sees it.
>Only six miles to do today. I thought I had it made (Crawford Notch to Neuman
>Campsite), but much of the hand-over-hand climbing made me feel like a
>professional rock climber. There were no views, either. Everything was
>shrouded in fog. The camp was nice, but it rained, so we were cooped up in
>our anything but generous two-man (more like 1 1/2) tent. This was a good
>test of a marriage!
>Dan's backpacking with me in the Whites, made him realize my committment to
>the trail. I think he would have appreciated an easier trail to start his
>hike with me. E-Bear and Micro stayed at the Mizpah Hut, to work. Haven't
>seen any other northbounders lately.
>Friday, August 2nd
>Today was our climb over Mt. Washington. I was pretty excited, but a little
>nervous about the terrain. I was a bit tired and not certain I was even up to
>a major climb.
>The climb from Mizpah to Mt. Washington was difficult, but not beyond my
>strength. The trail was not that steep, and there was no hand-over-hand
>climbing. The sun came out a little, but not enough to burn off the clouds on
>Washington. (We did see Washington later from another mountain, Clay). The
>cog railroad was great. I didn't "moon" it however, as tradition demanded. I
>called several friends from the top of Mt. Washington.
>Dan, Geo, and I stopped by the Madison Hut to see if we could work for our
>stay, but no luck. We hiked .6 of a mile down to a free campsite, which
>turned out to be quite nice.The black flies were bad, so we ate and then
>retreated to our tents. I didn't wear a hat like the doctor ordered, but did
>put sunscreen on. As a result, I have a very blistered nose, due to my
>photosensitivity from the Lyme Disease drugs. Ouch!
>Saturday, August 3rd
>The hikes these days are so taxing. (mostly hopping from rock to rock) Our
>campsite was .6 of a mile below Madison. We went over Madison to Pinkham
>Notch. I finally met Polly and Ester who were flip flopping. I also met
>Princess Leah who was finishing her AT hike. Her father and brother were with
>We had nice views of Mt. Washington from Madison. We were also able to see
>two huts get their supplies by heliocopter.
>Geo and I tried to work our stay at Madison Hut, but they didn't need us. I
>don't feel badly however, as I don't need a hut stay to make my AT hike
>Right now, Dan and I are at the Hiker's Paradise in Gorham. Feels good to be
>clean. It looks like Dan and I might even have a room to ourselves! Tonight,
>Dan, me, E-Bear, Geo, Crash, Double Eagle and a woman section hiker will go
>out for pizza.
>Sunday, August 4th
>Out again for another overnighter. This time, Dan and I are going south from
>Gorham to Pinkham Notch. We're at Imp campsite right now. When I am done with
>this section, I will have less than 300 miles to go to Maine. We ate lunch on
>Mt. Moriah with 360 degree views.
>Gutsy's Journals skip to Wednesday, August 7th
>We started at Gentian Pond Shelter and were going to stop at Full Goose, but
>when we met Geo, he suggested we do the notch and then camp between the notch
>and the arm. That was good advice, because the notch was one of the last
>lions I was dreading (see "Pilgrim's Progress"). At Full Goose, I ate all the
>remaining M &M's out of anxiety. Instead of being dreadful, it was really
>fun. It reminded me of playing chess; trying to figure out where to go next.
>The campsite was nice and it was free! We didn't finish until after 7 pm, but
>that saved us 3 hours the next day. It was very cool in the notch. My
>thermometer dropped from 80 to 55 and there was thick ice in the crevices. My
>favorite phrase for those deep holes was "in the bowels of the earth". Dan
>almost lost his water bottle in one.
>Thursday, August 8th
>Only seven miles to do today, but what a seven miles! The Mahoosuc Arm was
>one, difficult climb. I was very glad we had done the notch the evening
>before. I'm getting my strength back, but long climbs totally do me in. I
>keep telling the other hikers I'm not doing any more 20's, but they laugh and
>don't believe me. The truth is, I'm truly not doing anymore 20's!
>The weather has been good, no rain. We had fog on Mt. Washington, that's all.
>Some of the southbounders were talking about how wet it was farther north.
>Hope it dries up before I get there. I met a former southbounder, Zeke (94)
>with a group of kids, today, on Old Spec. The views on top were hairy, but
>beautiful. I couldn't stay long because my medication makes me sunburn in
>open areas. Bummer!
>Polly and Ester bought some kid's funny face stickers and they are putting
>them in shelter registers to match various northbounders.
>That's all I have for now. Sorry for the gap, but I'm sure Gutsy will fill it
>in, soon. I heard from her in Stratton, Me. earlier this week and she seemed
>well, but weary. I think this hike has really worn her out and that's she's
>ready to embrace civilization again with a passion.