Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We Go Under 400 Miles

Last night we slept on the very steep side of a mountain, at Hexacuba Shelter. I can't believe anyone chose that site to build a shelter on! When we stay at a shelter, which is not often, we always camp in our tent, and leave the shelter for those who prefer that. Most shelters will have a handful of level spots for tents, but this shelter only had one, and that was even up the hill at the top of some really tall steps. It was quite a climb after such a hard day's hike. To add to the difficulty of this site, there was no water close by, so we had to climb .2 miles back down the steep hill and then climb back up. Crazy. I guess when you've hiked 1785 miles, people just think you don't think twice about such things, but in fact, when I drag into camp, all I want to do is lay down!

Oh well, enough whining. We woke up after the coolest night we've had in a while. Brrrr! We hiked .2 back down the steep hill and rejoined the AT. It wasn't long before we finished the climb up the mountain that we had started the day before. We summitted Cube Mt. early enough, so that a sea of clouds were below us. It was truly a phenomenal view!

That was the hardest climb of the day. We had a lot of steep rock faces to get up, and then the backside of the mountain was steep as well. We eventually made it down, though, and the rest of the day brought lower, more gradual climbs.

About mid morning, we reached a road and had to walk up it about 500 yards until the AT crossed and went back into the woods. We crossed a bridge over a creek, and the guys spotted trout. Keith decided to see if they would eat granola. He threw some in, and those fish went after that like they had not eaten in a week! It was fun to watch. There were several trout, and they were all racing each other for the granola. We didn't notice anyone else on the road, but all of a sudden we heard a man say, "Excuse me, sir, but you can't feed the fish." We looked up, and it was Jaybird! He laughed out loud at surprising us. We continued on, hiking with Jaybird as long as we could, but he left us in his dust after a few minutes. He is fast!

At lunch time, we stopped at a shelter that had burned last year. Jaybird was there, and then Secrets and Shenanigans arrived, and then Kindle wandered in. We all enjoyed visiting and eating together. Later, a Sobo came in. His trail name was Wired. He truly was. He was just a little too excited and too loud. We were glad he was headed in the opposite direction.

As we hiked on after lunch, we met several sobos, and enjoyed hearing their stories of the Whites and Maine. The more we hear, the more excited we get!

The rest of the afternoon, we climbed two much smaller mountains with more gradual climbs. We finally reached a road and walked just down the road to the Hikers Welcome Hostel, where we are camped in their yard.

About 2 miles before we reached the road, we went under 400 miles left to go to Mt. Katahdin! High fives were given all around. Also, tomorrow we climb Mt. Moosilauke, the first of the big mountains we will be climbing in the White Mountains! We are excited!

- Steady and F100

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