Friday, July 27, 2012

Rain Finally Finds Us

Well, it finally happened. We finally got REALLY rained on. At least it was overnight. It started raining about 7:30 yesterday evening, and it rained all night. At one point, it was so dark in the tent, we could not see our hands in front of our faces. There was a group of Boy Scouts staying in the shelter along with some other Long Trail section hikers, and one Sobo AT hiker. We slept really well, and it continued to rain during the morning, so we were not up and on the trail by 6:30. We got to sleep in! I think I was the only one that saw this as a positive side to the rainstorm. I got lots of sleep. The boys seemed to be constantly checking their radars and texting each other, anxious to hike Swamprat was camped pretty far from us, so texting was a must.

Finally, the radar showed a break in the storm, so we packed up and moved into the shelter, and then as it lightened up, we headed out. We originally were going to camp on some really cool tent platforms down by Stratton Pond, but when we arrived at the shelter, were informed that the pesky beavers had managed to flood the trail leading there, and that the other trail was much longer, and we would have to hike around the other side of the pond. Also, the weather forecast was possibly severe, so tenting near the shelter was just the smart thing to do last night.

The pond was very pretty, even in the foggy mist. We were told the 11 mile hike to town was pretty easy, so we were in "hiking to town" speed, which is pretty brisk. It began raining again at one point, but once again, we got more damp than drenched. Not too bad. The greatest thing about the woods today is all of the streams are full and flowing. Beautiful, crystal clear springs and brooks flowing in all directions. Thing have been so dry for so long, it looks really great to see this again.

We made record time and hitched an easy ride into Manchester Center, New Hampshire. I am guarding the packs (as If anyone would care to touch the wet, muddy, smelly things!) at McDonalds while the boys grocery shop. Somehow I got the better end of this deal this time. My job comes with a Coke and fries!

We are staying at a hostel tonight - the Green Mountain Hostel. It comes highly recommended by everyone. When you stay there, the stay includes a free pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream! We also know some hikers who stayed there last night are staying another night due to the rain. We will look forward to hanging out with them.

I'll report on the hostel later.

Wildlife shots for today: the smallest newt yet, and a bird on its nest directly over the trail (that's it's tail sticking out).

- Steady and F100

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