Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don’t judge a trail by it’s beginning and end.

I’m back, everything is wet and I lost a toe nail with another going. About the toe nail.  One of the hazards on or trail experience is losing toe nails. yep I think Sherry has lost all hers at one time or the other but this is my first.

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Goodbyes were said, and I am off. This is the first over night separation on the trail experience. I first ran into the normal trail obstacles. then started the climb.

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First site is the lost lake, Sherry and I walked this far 3 years ago.

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I ran into one of the seldom problems you find on the AT. Lost blazes. AT Hikers follow a white blaze on trees and rocks, 2”x6” I hiked 30 mins. without seeing one. Rules are, GO BACK until you find a blaze. So I backtracked about 15 minutes until a young guy passed assuring me, this is the trail, they do not mark it well here. So I done an about face and hiked over an hour before the first blaze.

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Gold on the  trail. Just before crossing a rock formation, what is this, a total of 6 tangerines and a huge plumb. Some day hiker had lost some valuable cargo, probably in a hurry and frustrated by all the rain we have had. I cleaned the fruit, ate the plumb. Kept three and set the others up for the next hiker, or animal.

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My disappointment came at the absolute toughness of the trail. Having walked about 4-5 miles at the ‘Rattle Creek North End’ and about a mile of the lower end, it looked like my normal 2+ miles an hour speed hike.

HA HA HA! I ENDED UP HIKING LESS THAN A MILE AN HOUR. The toughest trail I have ever encountered with more sheer rock climbs than I want to remember.

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There were some good vistas, I had been climbing over an hour and I could still see back where Sherry dropped me off, Pinkham Notch. On with the trail. and clouds coming in.

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I met El Dog, heading south. He told me this was the hardest climbs and descents he had encountered on the trail,INCLUDING MAINE! His legs and feet were bothering him. He added , BUT at OUR age (I am ten yrs his senior) what do you expect.

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I ran into a few caves and was tempted to sleep here, although it was still hours before dark.

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The photo’s cannot show the the toughness of this climb. MANY ‘ups’ were like this. Fortunately the AT maint. crew had added steps here.

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TO get an idea lok below and compare the trees to the climb. This is as far as I could get standing to take the picture. That is close to vertical.

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BUT this is one of the spectacular views That is the White Mountains.

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The rain began, I climbed creeks over logs and rocks, rocks the size of VW’s. LOL

I found only one spot level enough for a tent and quit for the day at 6PM. Rain stopped long enough for me to fix my Ramen and hang my pack & food in the trees.

That was last night.

I am BEAT, See you, thanks for stopping by the log.

Nite Shipslog


Smart sign in a City restaurant:



An Austin 1/2 Ton pickup 1961. Remember the Austin?


Anonymous said...

Remember the Austin but not the pickup! WOW I think you are my new HERO, so when you hike you don't hike together or haven't the guys you're hiking with met up with you? Do you have a deadline for how far you have to hike in so many days? Doesn't look like a place where you can rush...not when you have to climb up a vertical rock!!!! be safe!

Woody said...

WAY TO GO !!! I would have stopped back by the fruit and ate it and turned around, You are one tough bugger !!!
take care,

Paula said...

I think it is so neat how you hikers leave things for the next one to eat. I probably would want to leave a note too. lol Take care.


Sorry to hear about your toenail. Sounds like a tough trail, for sure. But the payoff is those glorious sites. Those photos tell the story. That lost lake is gorgeous. Take care. Keep upthegood job. Hiking is definitely in your blood.

Louis la Vache said...

huff puff...
«Louis» is tired from just reading your story!
He couldn't even begin to hike this trail!

He remembers the Austin, but he had no idea they built a pickup.

«Louis» is driving to Monterey tomorrow to photograph the cars at the RM Pebble Beach auction, including the Plymouth XNR he posted recently on a Ruby Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

When I see the "close to vertical" trail, my natural reaction is to wonder if there isn't a better way to go 'round that mountain.
Yikes! that looks steep to this flatlander.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That was tough going and I imagine the rain didn't make it any easier. I give you a lot of credit for persevering. I know I wouldn't have been able to do it at all. The views are wonderful and something one wouldn't see otherwise. Hope you are getting some rest today. I'm headed for a weekend at my camper.
Hope you all have a fantastic Friday!

~mel said...

Who is this guy? You're crazy!! I have a feeling this trail isn't as well maintained as it was in years past ~ just like so many other things in our country. I hope you don't run into too many obstacles, broken toe nails, etc... and are able to FIND THAT MARKER each and every time WITHOUT having to backtrack. That alone would drive me crazy, one step forward, two steps back.

Lucy said...

Good grief Jack, losing toenails, climbing in areas I would not let Spunky go. You have got to be sore and tired. I know you love it and the view is spectacular but you are not getting any younger. We don't want anything serious happen to our blogger buddy and friend.

Ken Riches said...

Wow - Impressive. Rest well, you deserve it!

Fred Alton said...

Whoa, Jack! Do you think I can make it? Yes. If a blind man can do it, so can I! Ha.

Yesterday, on the six mile hike in G-burg, I felt my toenail striking the end of my boot. I stopped and took off the boot and trimmed the nail and sufferred no further damage. I go to the foot doctor this coming Tuesday and will have the nails all trimmed. Hopefully won't have that problem again. I'm really looking for another pack. I see the one I have is old and too small for this trip. Bought Bear Spray in G-burg, Really looking forward to this hike.

Chatty Crone said...

If I was your mother I would tell you not to do this. But as a friend I guess I see it is something in your heart you need to do. I do admire you and Sherry very much! sandie