Back to the trail – part 2: White Mountain Adventure

This is podcast 2 in a two part series (part 1 here)on our 2018 section hike of the Appalachian Trail through the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  Kendall and I recount our various adventures and sum up with what we are taking away from this most recent walk in the woods (more mountains than woods…), including:

  • Getting back on the trail after an unplanned day off.
  • Making decisions as a group
  • How luck plays a huge role in your experience
  • How hiking can “force” you into a more meditative frame of mind

We are already planning our next adventure, so if you have any suggestions of sections we should take a look at , drop them in the comments below.

A soggy start to what would be a foreshortened day 5 and a crew that is absent Me and Mason (we had already left for Highlands)
Coming down Mt. Webster…what would end the day early.
Hanging things out to dry in the “emergency” suite at Highlands Center.
Refreshed after a hard day 5 and a night at Highlands center. Ready for a good day 6 on our way to Guyot Tent Site.
We got lucky and were able to wait out a storm in a hut…but the creek didn’t have that luxury so it was raging by the time we got to it to cross.
The view from Guyot after a 3 mile “run” to get to camp before sunset…reminded me of Ireland.
Up and at ’em on the morning of day 7 from Guyot Tent Site.
A quick break on a hard day 7.
Yep, that’s the trail that leads to Garfield Ridge campsite. It just happens to be an active waterfall as well. After this we were expecting the trail to go through an active volcano!
Cooking dinner at Garfield Ridge Tent Site. Last dinner on the trail so emptying the food bag of all dinner stuffs.
It was slow going on the top of Mt. Lafayette with the fog making it hard to see the next trail marker.
As the fog was cleaning when we were between Lafayette and Lincoln, it looked like you were above the clouds.
By the time we approached Little Haystack, everything was clear and you could see for miles.
The feeling that can only be achieved by actually finishing something like an 8 day section hike through the white mountains.

 

3 Replies to “Back to the trail – part 2: White Mountain Adventure”

  1. Nice job on the podcasts. I think you captured the trip experience pretty well. It was both incredible and incredibly challenging, but I think certainly worth the pure work and struggle.

    I have some do-overs myself on the 2nd half and will be planning at some point to go back. Main regret for me is bailing on Franconia Ridge, which I was looking forward to as much as any other part. But thinking back to the situations at the time – physical, mental, weather, and water – I still think I made the right call for myself. And actually the view up to Franconia from the trail we took was pretty great as well.

    One decision I absolutely have no regrets about, without a doubt, is bailing to Highlands after the treachery of the Webster Cliffs descent. That was one of the situations that could have been a problem but luckily we were all on the same page, having gotten there in each of our heads on the silent descent before we came together to make the decision.

    It was a good group and I think we all had our moments but held it together and helped each other out in turns. Even Mason’s “power of positive thinking” on day 4 (which was pretty darn convincing I might add) had a good effect on the group.

    Stripping the days down to the “simplicity” of walk, eat, sleep certainly has a way of bringing a different type of focus to the front…even/especially when every step of the walk is on a boulder.

    Thanks for helping to relive the trip. It was a great time and perhaps more to come, individually or together.

    Greg

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I was actually listening as I produced it today and thought of so much more that I had to say – but there’s only so much time 😉

      I’d like to go back and do a quick loop from Highlands up to Nauman and then across to Ethan pond and out A-Z. If it works out and we go together, I would be more than happy to do Franconia again.

      One thing that I have no regrets about is the group we want with. I think we all made each other better and never let the stress of any of the situations get to us.

      I for one can’t wait to do it again, there and/or somewhere else.

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