Live Free or Die (1869 Miles)
(FYI: I wasn’t able to post this blog sooner due to lack of wifi, but I’m actually in Maine right now with 1970 miles completed and 220 remaining. Hoping to post another update soon!)
New Hampshire, the best and most challenging state on the AT so far! This update comes from Gorham, NH where the backpacking trio of Stink Jacket, John Redcorn, and myself Packman are gorging on food and catching some rest after the White Mountain National Forest. The experience on the AT has been amazing and eventfull since the last post.
Everyone we have ran into heading south prior to the White Mountains told us the area was scenic and challenging. With 1600 plus miles in at the time we knew we could handle anything terrain wise but did not expect the amazing views. The mountains even though they are at elevations of 5000-6000 feet, are similar in appearance to mountains out west.
Taking in the views and descending rocky terrain has slowed us down to 15 mile days but the finish line is still insight for sometime around the first week of September.
In addition to the memorable days on trail we had one unforgettable night near Lincoln, NH. After hitch hiking into town, resupplying, and hitching back to the trail we decided to set up camp right next to the road and relax for half the day. At the time our group consisted of Stink Jacket, myself and one other hiker who had been hiking with us for a few days prior. Exhausted, we all went to sleep by 8, each with a full supply of food for the next four days. At 9 that night I awoke to a black bear 5 feet from my tent entrance bent over eating the food belonging to the recent addition to our group… After crazily waking up, scaring the bear back to the safe distance and quickly packing up we hurried off to the closest parking lot. Thankfully we could get service and called a shuttle to take us back to town to resupply for the second time and try to get some sleep as we all relived the events of the evening.
The next morning when we returned to the scene to clean up the food garbage, we found that the bear ate this hikers entire food supply. The bear was able to open individual candy bar wrappers, peanut butter containers, and tuna packets…
This experience really reinforced the fact that we are still in the wilderness out here and black bears can be found anywhere on the AT. Out of the three of us that night, Stink Jacket and myself used odor proof “OPSAK” bags to store our food while the hiker’s whose food was stolen was stored in a plastic grocery bag. Whether or not the odor proof bags actually work is still in question but luckily the bear went for the food outside this hiker’s tent as we both have been keeping our food in our tents since New Jersey. After this experience I’ve not only been using the odor proof bags but have returned to hanging my food each night. The few minutes it takes to hang our food is definitely worth it to avoid another run in with a black bear.
Here’s a few pictures from this last part of the trail unfortunately no bear attack photos…
The terrain up Mount Moosilauke.
At the summit of Mount Moosilauke.
Part of the challenging descent from Moosilauke.
The view from Lonesome Lake Hut.
Don’t know how well this will show up but there is a momma moose and calf in the center of the picture.
Climbing up Mt. Lafayette
At the summit of Mount Washington with Stink Jacket
The Presidential range from Wildcat Mountain
The moose of New Hampshire send their love!
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