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[at-l] Returned from Whites
Your times and distances were near perfect. We did the 15 miles from
Galehead to Rt 302 in exactly what you said, 10 1/2 hours. We even stopped
to rest a little. The blazing through and near Shoal Pond area was sparce
and at times we felt we lost the AT. For 30 minutes we did not see a
northern blaze. Thoreoau Falls was very interesting but there wasn't a lot
of water going through it. When I got there there were two dayhikers with
a dog who were trying to keep ythe dog from running off over the falls. I
took a few photos which turned out terrible, too much light. To get one
without the dayhikers or the dog in it was a challenge too. We hit the
presidentials on Sunday Jul 26 at 9:30 am after hiking five miles. I
wanted to switch reservations to Madison to finish the exposed area in good
weather as the forecast was for rain and thunderstorms the next day. My
hubby had tendonitis the whole time so we laid back at Lakes hut all day.
At 1 am I heard the wind howling outside and the 50 mile view that lulled
me to sleep outside the window last night was now narrowed down to 15 ft.
I was a little disturbed pondering having to hike them in the fog and wind.
The report was for morning Thundershowers, too. Off we went at 8:30 and
trying hard to find blazes and cairns in the fog. We couldn't see the cog
train although it went by behind us after we crossed the tacks. But we had
no views of the valley or the upcoming peaks. I liked the area of Adams
where we went around the rocks. It was cool. The wind was the biggest
factor. 67-75 with peak gust of 92. We made it to Madison hut at 1pm and
waited out a rain shower till 3pm. The trip over Madison was surprising.
And down was even more surprising. Might have been enjoyable except the
crosswind wind would lift me up and set me down while I danced in the air.
Pack straps flapping in the wind, beating up my face. Pack cover billowing
out like a sail even though I had it laced down in three spots. It was
funny how I'd put my shoulder to the wind and plod onward and then the wind
would let up and from my own momentum I'd fall sideways. It was very
trying and we were glad to get below treeline at 6pm. I have a great story
to tell but I really wasn't warned that I'd need Moleskin for my finger
tips. :-) I used my finger tips a lot to keep from being blown over. It
was cool but I don't want to do it again in the wind. Carter Notch Hut was
the best of all. Jen and Jeff, the caretakers, were friendly and many were
not at the full-service huts. What a refreshing relief, real folks. The
Whites were very tough, the toughest we've done so far. Few flat ares and
very steep , rocky ascents. The ascent of Wildcat was death-defying at
times. Sheer 75-80 degree cliffs, short but steep. I'm glad it wasn't
raining. The weather was great except for the trip over the pressies. We
found a pair of prescription sunglasses on the Webster Cliffs and returned
them. Don't know how Bogey spotted them. It happened when I said to him,
"They aren't gonna take us up there, are they?" and he looked at the
vertical cleft in the red rocks and said, "Gee, Nance, there a pair of
glasses." And we ascended where I though no man had oughta gone before.
And we loved it and have stories to tell. Memories made. We finally met
up with Spaz, Carni and Tumbles, friends on a thru and hiked with them to
Gorham. They are in Rangely now with Smokin' Joe and Rob and Scanner.
What a group.
It was a tough rewarding hike and we look forward to completing the north
next year. We have great photos of trees and snow and rocks and nice
Thanks Digga and all the other folks who helped us.
Forgiveness is the scent of the violet on the heel of the one who crushed
Slim and Bogey (430 miles to go)
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