Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Day 131- Into The Great White Open

Aug 10, 2015
Jeffers Brook Shelter(1791.4) to Kinsman Notch(1799.8) 8.4 Miles

After a very late night, mostly because of noisy boyscouts, we were all up early. Everyone was excited to climb our first mountain in the Whites, Mt. Moosilauke. We started the morning off at 1,330' of elevation. We would gain 3,472' over 4.6 miles. We had been hearing horror stories from SOBO's about the descent down Mt. Moosilauke. They were telling us we had a steep descent that would take us through a waterfall. We planned on this one mountain taking us up to 8 hours to finish. 

We started our hike around 7:15. Everyone quickly spread out, hiking their own hike. We made plans to meet at the summit. The climb was long, but not as hard as I expected. There were a few sections where I had to put my poles away, but nothing that I haven't done before. 
Piece of cake

Within two hours I was standing on top of the southern summit. The views were great. 
Southern summit of Mt. Moosilauke

I was more than excited. I've been dreaming of the Whites for months and my first view did not disappoint. To reach the northern summit was another one mile hike above treeline. It reminded me of the bald mountains of the south. I could see exactly where I was heading. 
Heading to the summit

Once I reached the top I was blown away, both literally and figuratively. The wind was really strong. I quickly put my puffy jacket on. My crew was all there and cheered me on as I approached. We sat behind a stone wind break and enjoyed the moment. 
 Stone wind break 

As we ate snacks, laughed, and relaxed I was really glad I decided to wait for my friends to catch up. I will always remember my first White Mountain summit surrounded by friends! 
View from Mt. Moosilauke 
Heading out from the summit (picture taken by Outro) 

Eventually it was time to head out. We had the hardest part of the hike ahead of us, a 3,000' descent over 3.8 miles. Once again we quickly spread out. I was planning on really taking my time going down. A fall in the wrong place in this kind of terrain could not only end my hike, but could end my life. 
This was the easy part

The climb down was treacherous, but not as bad as the SOBO's made it out to be. I walked next to a waterfall, but not really through it. The rocks were extremely slippery, so I sat down a lot and lowered myself down certain sections. Some sections were too steep to easily make it down safely, but the trail maintainers put in wooden blocks to make it safer. 
Wooden blocks

After planning on the day taking us eight hours, we were pleasantly surprised to finish in four hours. We hiked out to the road crossing so we could hitch into town to resupply. Outro, Adios, South Paw and I made it to the road and stuck our thumbs out. We didn't have to wait long, the fifth car to go by stopped to pick us up. As we were talking to the driver another car pulled over, it was BFG and Broccoli Casserole! They were dropping my food package off at the PO for me. The trail always provides! South Paw and I rode into town with BFG and Broccoli Casserole and Outro and Adios rode in the back of the truck that had stopped. 

Once we arrived in, North Woodstock, Liz and Tom treated us to lunch. Trail Magic!!!
Broccoli Casserole, South Paw, Adios, Outro, and Me

After a huge lunch we all went for ice cream. 
The crew plus BFG

It was a nice afternoon, but eventually we had to go back to the trail. Tom and Liz drove South Paw and Adios back to the trailhead while, Outro and I, waited for them to return for us. I stayed behind because I knew they would definitely return for me :-)
It couldn't have worked out any better! 
Outro and I returning to the trail to setup camp

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I'm excited to continue on through the Whites. Thanks again for all of the wonderful trail magic, BFG and Broccoli Casserole!!! 

"When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
—The 14th Dalai Lama


  1. Beautiful Pictures. Sounds like you all crushed Mt. Moosilauke. Enjoy the Whites :)

  2. I'm loving BFG and Broccoli Casserole!! Coolest trail angels ever!!!

  3. My Aunt lives in N Woodstock and My Mom was born and raised in Lincoln. My Aunt would have loved to hike a piece with you but didn't realize you were in that area already! Its beautiful in the Whites. I spent 2 weeks there last year with my Mom and family. Happy Trails:)

  4. How nice of Liz and Tom to treat everyone to lunch and ice cream! I'm sure they were really happy to meet up with all of your friends you've been writing about. I'm very glad you are being careful on this part of the trail too. Love the view from the summit.

  5. How weird they would come by at that exact time. Good for all of you to get another trail magic day. Liked pictures of summit, really all of them. I'm so happy you hiked lower mileage days and extra zero's so you all could do the Whites together. I know you will be careful, so hike on. LY

  6. It was a fun "trail magic" time for us, too. We liked your hiking friends very much. It will be great to follow you all through the Whites and beyond!

  7. Beautiful! Great that you had this time with Tom and Liz. Be safe in the Whites. Keep on trekking!

  8. You are doing so awesome, Yoda! Say hi to Outro for us! Not being able to move much (hip is still really bugging me) and not being able to go anywhere (finances) has really gotten me down, it's not been easy, but following your blog has helped to keep my spirits up. So thank you for your blog, wish we were still out there with you!
    Stealth Bomber

  9. What a great surprise for all of you to have them come through at just the perfect time.mmgreat photos tags in today. Trek on - carefully Yoda! Prayers from Tampa!!!