Saturday, August 8, 2015

Day 128- Family, Friends, And Food

Aug 7, 2015
Hexacuba Shelter(1775.7) to NH 25(1790.5) 14.8 Miles

Sorry for the delayed post. My Aunt and Uncle drove all the way from Omaha, NE to come and visit me and I've been enjoying our visit so much I haven't had the time to write my daily post. 

Last night the temperature dropped into the 40's, usually I'd be freezing. Thanks to my new underquilt, I was so hot I woke up at midnight and had to take layers of clothes off. In the morning it took me forever to get out of bed. I was so warm and toasty, I didn't want to get up. I finally made myself get up at seven. I made coffee, ate some peanut butter and crackers, and packed things up. I was on the move by 7:45. I stopped to filter water on my way out of the shelter. I started the morning off with a 1,000' climb up Mt. Cube. I'm getting to be an expert at 1,000' climbs. I banged it out relatively quick and took some time taking pictures and enjoying the summit. 
Terrain up to Mt. Cube
View from the summit
Pictures don't do it justice

I'm entering into the part of the hike where following the white blazes is becoming difficult. In some areas there isn't a place to put a white blaze, so the trail maintainers use cairns. 
Cairn showing the way(this is for you, Christel) 

Mt. Cube actually has two summits, the north and south face. The AT crossed directly over the south summit, but the north summit was .3 off of the trail. I decided to go ahead and take the side trail and I was glad I did. I could see all the way into The Whites. 
Pretty hazy, but the Whites are to the left 

From here I had an uneventful four mile decent. It wasn't very steep, but going downhill for two hours isn't very much fun. I listened to my audiobook for most of the time. I'm really enjoying, Ready Player One. Any child of the 80's should check it out, you'll love all of the pop culture references. I was almost done with the decent when I heard something loud in the forest(I only use 1 earbud on my headphones so I'm aware of what's going on around me). I paused my book and looked around to find the cause of the noise. I saw my first bear in New Hampshire! I've honesty lost count of how many bears I've seen, but I think that makes number 16. He didn't see or hear me, so I was able to watch him dig around a tree root for a few minutes. Eventually, I walked away and left him unaware of my presence. It was one of my favorite bear encounters. 
Perfect bear encounter 

The rest of the hike flew by. I met up briefly with, McFly, Walnut, and Happy. They had stopped at a road crossing for lunch. I joined them, we chatted about the upcoming Whites, and they headed out before me. I took my time eating and enjoying the perfect weather. Even though they had a twenty minute headstart on me, I caught up to them at the next road crossing. McFly and I hiked together briefly. I'm pretty quick on the uphills so he eventually fell behind. 

The climb up Mt. Mist was another 1,000' foot climb, but I thought it was nicely graded, McFly would later disagree. As fast as I am going uphill, I'm equally slow going downhill. When I stopped for a quick pee stop, McFly blew past me. Luckily, he didn't see me hiding in the forest. He seemed confused when I met him at the next road crossing. He thought I went ahead to the hostel without waiting for him as planned. I told him that he walked right past me on the trail. Now he was really confused. "I swear I never passed you," he said. Eventually, I told him he passed me while I was squatting in the woods and not while I was on the trail. We both got a laugh out of it. 

Hikers Welcome Hostel was a pretty cool place. Even though I wasn't staying there, they let me hang out while I waited for my Aunt and Uncle to arrive. The people who organize, Hikers Yearbook, were there. It is exactly what it sounds like, a yearbook for the AT class of 2015. They have been at several points along the trail, but I've never run into them. They took my picture and contact info to include in this years book. I can't wait to get it later this year. I've met so many cool people, it will be great to be able to have something that shows their pictures and has their contact info. It's pretty hard to find people after the trail. Imagine trying to find Honey Britches, if you don't know her real name. 

I didn't have to wait long for Aunt Liz and Uncle Tom to arrive. I gave them a stinky hug, and they pretended that it wasn't too bad. They brought a big ice chest full of soda and Gatorade, within minutes they were surrounded by hiker trash. It was cool that they got to meet so many of my friends. McFly, Old Eagle Scout, Happy, Walking Home, Walnut, Piper, Turbo, Short Bus, Parqay, Papa Al, and Philco were all staying at the hostel. 
Hiker Trash Unite!
Showing Aunt Liz around the hostel

Stinky side-hugs

Once all of the hikers had their fill of Gatorade and soda, we hit the road. Liz and Tom had booked rooms for us in Lebanon, NH. A town located on the outskirts of Hanover. I just can't seem to escape the Hanover vortex, lol. The hotel,  Element by Westin, is really nice. By hiker standards it's like a Ritz-Carlton. Once we got checked in the first order of business was a shower for me. The next order of business was dinner for all. Aunt Liz and Uncle Tom had already been informed by, The General and Hannibal, about my hiker hunger. While I was showering they ordered pizza. They asked for a pizza that would feed four. Yup, I officially count as two people!
 I ate half of a 22" pizza :-)

Since we all had a long day we called it a night after dinner. I get to sleep in an extremely comfortable bed tonight with a full belly and I don't smell. Triple bonus!!! 

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
– Buddha


  1. So glad it worked out to meet up and spend time with them. I'm sure they enjoyed your stories about trail. I know you are anxious to meet up with pack and start hiking the Whites. Just another day and the group will hike out and start the last part of your trail. I can't wait to read your journal and see pictures. Just another day to wait around a then you're off and running. Be careful out there!! LY

  2. I'm reading the Aussielegs blog and they are a week in front of you (approx as they do not blog everyday like you and keep me waiting for up to a week at a time, very inconsiderate!). They've just gone through Mahoosuc Notch and said it was pretty challenging. Their tip was not to do it alone as there were bits where you are passing your pack along. Grab your friends for that by the sounds. The kids and I are heading out for another section of the South West Coast Path today. we've had to skip ahead bc my husband wants to walk the section around The Lizard with us in a fortnight and the next section has some river crossings that have to be done at low tide and that falls at a bad time this week. No bears for us though.

  3. We are enjoying "spoiling" you before the Whites. "Stinky side-hug" pic didn't show up for some reason.

  4. What a great idea the hiker yearbook is! You will have pictures of all your new hiker buddies to add to your great memories. Keep truckin on Yoda. You continue to amaze me with your endurance. Stay safe my friend.

  5. I was glad to read about the yearbook too - it would be such a shame not to have a way to connect with all your new friends! Glad you got to enjoy some spoiling before this last tough leg - Viya con dios mi amiga!

  6. I love that I get to see the faces of so many who make comments on your blog. I get all happy with you meeting family and friends and it feels like I am enjoying the people and meals with you....don't take that in a scary psycho stalking way :O but as a huge compliment to your writing, to your photographs and to your family, friends and fans. You are way more than Jumbotron Famous to many of us who are having a vacation via your words and hard work.

  7. oh, and how cool was that bear!

  8. I was off the grid for a few days and it's a treat to come back to so many entries! Real roughing it there eh? :P

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