The Presidentials are Complete!
My Liberty Lodging in Lincoln, NH
This place has got to be one of my all time favorite places along the AT. I stayed there in 2012, 2015, and again this year while the owners are new this season, their passion and understanding of thru-hikers is not new. They have hiked the AT in 1995 and totally get what hikers need. Their shuttle prices are thoroughly thought out and reasonable—they just don’t assign some random price in order to gouge thru-hikers, they actually consider the cost of gas and mileage. The rooms are very comfortable and clean. They will drive you into town and drop you off then come back and get you whenever you like so I never felt the pressure to hurry when trying to decide on food options or on gear. I would love to bring my husband back here sometime when we’re on vacation—it is a remarkable place.
We have made it through the rugged and wild Presidential Range. We had decent weather with good views on Franconia Ridge, but after going over Mt Lafayette, the weather began to turn. We could hear thunder in the distance and chose to wait it out. We still had Garfield to climb and didn’t want to be on the top of there were any chance of lightning. We waited about 30 minutes and then began to climb. A light rain had begun and the rocks were slick, but we felt pretty safe. The climb on both of those mountains is hard, but the downhills were brutal! We made it to Garfield Ridge Shelter by around 4pm. We were supposed to meet up with Pacer and Clipper at Galehead Hut, but it wasn’t gonna happen. I was beat! I’m glad we waited and camped out that night because it rained pretty hard and I had forgotten all about the waterfall we had to climb down from the shelter! I’m so glad we did that on fresh legs because it was the most difficult hiking we had done so far. We made it down and then continued a very long day to the AMC Highland Center where we spent the night at the Shapleigh Bunkhouse.
The day we were to hike out to go up and over Mt Washington was not a good day for me! I woke up with a sore throat, headache and horrible stomach issues so I chose to not conquer Washington for the third time. Chilli and Pacer set out at 5am and spent the night at Lake of the Clouds. Then had dog when in Washington so they did not get a good view, which was disappointing. But, they didn’t have to deal with rain or storms, which was a blessing.
The Wildcats are extremely intimidating for me and probably always will be. We have the threat of rain again all this week, so instead of doing them in a couple of days, Chilli and Pacer chose to do the whole 21 miles in one day. I sat that one out as well. I will complete them when my hiking partner, Karey, does that section and we will probably take several days to get through them. I know my limitations and with the weather, I just felt like this was not the time. And I’m good with that decision.
The Mahoosuc Notch
That is the next big challenge for me. We will complete it on Sunday August 5th. We are at White Birches Camping Park and will hike out tomorrow in order to do the Notch in good weather. This will be the third time I’ve attempted to do the Notch. I had horrible weather in 2012 and had to bypass it. Then I separated my ribs from my sternum in 2015 and had to bypass it then as well. I’m praying the third time is the charm! I have picked up some foam knee pads in order to protect my knees and am hoping that I’m up for the task.
Less Than 300 Miles to Katahdin
It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we have completed over 800 miles and have less than 300 to Katahdin. We have to summit before August 28th in order to make our flight back to Harpers on time. Three weeks is about what we have left before we begin heading south from Harpers Ferry. The time has flown by and we have had and overcome many challenges. We know we still have many ahead of us, but we are ready to face each one! Katahdin here we come!!
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