The Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire is known for its beautiful views and challenging terrain. I grew up in Massachusetts so I knew what I was getting into when it came to New Hampshire. Weather can change quickly and while most NOBO hikers see themselves as trail experts by the time they reach New Hampshire I urge people not to get too cocky. If the weather report calls for extreme weather take shelter or go into town for your own safety. This isn’t fear-mongering as many accused me of on trail, this is truth.
If you haven’t read my Appalachian Trail in Vermont Journals head there not before continuing on.
Appalachian Trail In New Hampshire
Facts about the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire
- How many miles of the Appalachian Trail are in New Hampshire?: 160.9 miles
- Elevation Range: 400′-6288′ feet
- Make sure to stop at The Notch Hostel, it’s one of the best hostels on the Appalachian Trail
- The terrain in New Hampshire is challenging don’t be surprised when your mileage gets cut as a result.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire DAY: 143
Location: Camp sites by Mink Brook
Start/End Time: 9:45/3:00
Weather Conditions: Hot and Humid
My feet were almost the same size this morning, so I’m headed back out!
Got up early and wished Sweet William goodbye. I gave him a big hug and said, “I’ll see you…” and he respond with, “I’ll see you in Maine.” I can’t describe how much it meant to me that he said that.
Just like yesterday, I made breakfast with Vista. I did the eggs and she did the pancakes. Puff and Kiki did the dishes.
Before we left I iced and soaked my foot one last time and caught the 9 am shuttle back to Hanover.
Because hikers love free food we went to Lou’s Bakery for a free donut. I got the iced apple cider. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
The whole crew started hiking out of town but first made a pit stop at the co-op for trail beers. We each got a tall boy: Puff and PBR, me a Long Trail Trail Hopper IPA, and Kiki and Vista for Fiddlehead IPAs.
The first uphill was challenging because of the heat and humidity, my ankle, and it was the day after a zero – which always sucks. I took it slow and watched my steps. My ankle was taped up really good with KT Tape and it felt ok.
At the top I caught up with the crew and we all took break to cool down.
After the break I walked with Vista and Puff for nearly 3 miles to the next water source. We talked about the Olympics and the importance of women supporting women.
Puff taught me an easy way to refill my Platypus water bladder without taking it out of my side pouch. Game changer!
I did the last 3 miles to camp solo and listened to the next Bridgerton Book, On the Way to the Wedding.
Our campsite is on a little patch of land next to a brook. When I showed up Kiki had a fire going to ward off the mosquitoes. We had a great afternoon! We sipped out beers, set up camp, and lounged around the fire.
Because I had just put brand new KT tape on a d didn’t want to get it wet I put my foot in a zip lock bag so I could soak it in the stream. I looked ridiculous, but it worked!
The sun went down to the sounds of our laughter and the crackling of the fire.
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 144
Location: Smart’s Mountain
Start/End Time: 7:45/6:45
Weather Conditions: Hot and Humid
Up and out by 7:45 to try and get as many miles in as possible before it gets too hot.
With 3 pretty big and steep ups today we had the first right in the morning. At the top I ran into a hiker I had met in the Smokies, Frosty.
The temperature just kept rising and I don’t think I’ve ever sweated this much in my life. It was way worse than Pennsylvania was because we had to actually climb.
Listening to the latest episode of The Office Ladies Podcast helped to distract me for about an hour. On office ladies today, Angela turned 50 and told a story about her grandma who when she was 96 said, “Nothings broke, but nothing really works.” This is how my body feels right now.
Then I called Hoagie and we chatted for a bit. I shared with her that morale is pretty low and I was worried about my ankle. In true Hoagie fashion, she had my back, telling me that the whites weren’t anything that I hadn’t done before. She finished them a couple of days ago and they were just as challenging as many of the climbs we did down south. Whether this is true or not it’s what I needed to hear, and I’m thankful for it.
The rest of the hiking I did mid-day wasn’t too bad. I had to stop a bunch because of the heat, but I was happy and kept on pushing forward.
Once 3 pm rolled around I hit the wall. I was 3.8 miles from the fire tower and I was very much done with the day. I had a 1.7-mile climb straight up before the trail leveled out. For a good 20 minutes, I cried while I hiked. The heat sucked everything out of me today. It took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to do that 1.7 miles. I had to stop constantly to cool off and wipe the sweat off my face.
I arrived at the Fire Tower and was completely exhausted. I dragged myself over to the Fire Warden’s cabin, saw Puff, and just walked over and said, “I need a hug,” and collapsed into her arms. Sometimes hugs make everything better.
I filled my water and claimed a spot in the cabin. I quickly made my dinner and the whole crew went up the fire tower to watch the sunset. With lots of laughs and a beautiful sunset, my day was instantly made better. It’s funny how fast that can happen out here.
As the darkness fell we all sat out on the porch swapping stories. I got some help from the crew to clean and out triple antibiotic ointment on my pack rash which is getting worse in the heat.
There is supposed to be a meteor shower tonight, so I might get up later tonight and check it out.
Friday, August 13, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 145
Location: Wachipauka Pond
Start/End Time: 7:30/6:45
Weather Conditions: Hot and Humid
I ended up getting up around 4 to pee and look at the meteor shower, but it was too misty to see anything.
The rest of the crew got up to watch the sunrise, but I was so tired I opted to go back to sleep.
With 18 miles to hike today, I did get up and moving soon after and was out hiking by 7:30.
To start the day off there were 4 miles downhill. It wasn’t too steep, but the rocks took me a significant amount of time to navigate.
Once I had reached the Brook and dirt road at the bottom I had a 3 mile uphill climb to the summit of Mount Cube. The beginning was easy, but the further up I got the more rocks I had to climb over and around. To top it all off it was hot again today and there was so much sweat dripping from me.
Halfway up Vista caught up with me and we finished the climb together and were rewarded with a spectacular view to the south. Sadly, there wasn’t an area to sit at the summit out of the shade so I didn’t spend much time there. I took a few pictures and continued on.
The descent of Mount Cube took me longer than the ascent. While my ankle is feeling better downhill is still difficult and with lots of rocks and roots, this was tough.
I stopped for lunch by a stream to fill up water and was joined by Vista. A SOBO hiker told is there was a cooler by the road a few miles ahead! This really motivated us to get moving.
By the time we got there, the selection wasn’t very big, but I was able to get the last Mountain Dew and Vista got a Diet Pepsi.
After I left this area Vista saw a bear crossing the street! I literally missed the bear by a few minutes, and I’m really bummed out about it. I haven’t seen a bear since Connecticut!
I turned on the audiobook I started yesterday, the 7th Bridgerton book. It started off slow, but halfway through it picked up and got pretty good. Just as I was finishing the book I arrived at the Blue blaze trail to Wachipauka Pond.
The .2 mile side trail was totally worth the walk! The Pond is absolutely beautiful. Linger, Burn, and Old Yeller was there too! Burn was in the water, so I stripped down to my underwear and hopped in. The water was nearly as warm as bathwater. It was such a treat after 18 miles in the heat.
Then we saw a beaver going for a swim! He was so cute and Puff names him Tony.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 146
Location: N. Woodstock
Start/End Time: 7:30/5:30
Weather Conditions: Hot and Humid and rainy and windy
We woke up to a light rain just enough to soak my tent and make it heavy to carry.
It was an easy 2 miles to a road crossing, then it started to get challenging. Moosilauke is the first mountain in the Whites and the uphill was hard. I stopped a lot, and it was super humid. Then the rain started to fall forcing me to put my rain jacket on making it even warmer. When the rain stopped it was foggy and windy.
I reached the summit after 3 hours of hiking uphill clambering over rocks and dodging day hikers. After I got my foggy photo taken I had a difficult time finding the trail in the fog. I needed to take my phone out and used Gut hooks (now called FarOut Guides) to make sure I was headed in the right direction.
While I didn’t realize it until later immediately after the summit I crossed the 1800 mile mark.
When I found my way I headed down to the shelter to meet Vista. Thankfully she had only gotten there 20 minutes before I did.
Once we put our packs on to hike down to Kinsman Gap my knee started to hurt. This made the already tough downhill more difficult. Every time I flexed my knee it hurt.
The downhill was slick as we hiked directly next to the most gorgeous waterfall. If I wasn’t in pain I would have loved this!
Between being wet and my knee pain tried to find a place to spend the night in town. The Notch Hostel was fully booked. Luckily, Ashley, who I met in Antarctica, messaged me about a week ago telling me her Aunt had a house in N. Woodstock. After a bunch of texts, we ended up staying there.
Once we were off the mountain we stumbled upon some trail magic in the form of soda and chips. They even offered to bring us into town.
Ashely’s Aunt and Uncle, Shari, and John, are the most lovely people. We had asked to set up our tents in their backyard, but ended up sleeping in real beds! They gave us showers, let us do our laundry, and took us out to dinner. Being with them was a great break from the trial and a reminder of the kindness that exists in the world.
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 147
Location: The Notch Hostel N. Woodstock
Weather Conditions: Sunny
We slept until 7:45 and it was glorious!
After sitting on the front porch with Shari for tea and coffee, Vista and I went across the street to the Woodstock Inn and Brewery.
When we order the waiter told Vista he was proud of her for ordering the French Toast. I think it’s hilarious and I’m going to start telling people I’m proud of them for doing everyday things.
We packed and said our thank you’s and goodbyes to Shari, John, and the whole family. I don’t know where we would have ended up last night if it wasn’t for them. I’m so grateful for their kindness.
Before resupplying we went to an antique store because Vista loves antiquing. Which I find hilarious.
The gas station/store/deli was amazing and we got huge sandwiches to eat for lunch and some beer. We even got a really fast hitch so we didn’t have to walk to the hostel!
The Notch Hostel is a great place! It’s one of the cleanest hostels I’ve ever been to, and everyone is so welcoming. I’m going to do work for stay here if my knee and ankle don’t feel better after the Kinsmans.
I spent a few hours laying in the hammock out front where I did some writing and chatted with Kali.
Once it started getting hot I headed out to the living room and found Nomad and 2 guys playing guitar.
I made ziti minus sauce because I forgot to have Boston get it at the store, but it still turned out delicious!
My amazing Support Team, Kali, Megan. Holly, and Amanda are all together in the Outer Banks. I FaceTimed with them and was so happy to see all of their faces.
I ended my night hanging out with the Roaches in the kitchen.
Monday, August 16, 2021-Thursday, August 19, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 148-151
Location: The Notch Hostel N. Woodstock
Weather Conditions: All the weather
On the 15th I woke up to my leg still hurting, and made the decision to not hike and do work for stay for a few days.
I’m so thankful for Serena, the owner of The Notch Hostel, for letting me do work for stay while I rested my ankle and knee. I felt so welcome and her kindness made me feel right at home.
For my work for stay I:
1. Painted a pergola
2. Cleaned the deck siding
3. Did some touch-up painting on the deck
4. Did some general cleaning
5. Cleaned her house and folded laundry.
For my last bit of work for stay, she forgot I still needed hours and didn’t have anything to do at the hostel. I ended up doing some cleaning at her house instead. When she came back to the hostel the next morning she gave me a huge hug because she was so happy with how her house looked. She even gave me a roll of KT Tape as an extra thank you. Even though I’m the one that was doing work for stay.
Vista ended up staying an additional day where she slack-packed to keep me company. And while she ended up leaving because she needed to continue her hike I’m so grateful that she stuck with me for so long.
I ended up making friends with another hurt hiker Restart and her friend Bluelbs. The first day I did work for stay Vista went out and slack-packed. After doing a few hours of work Restart, Bluelbs, and I went to the Woodstock Inn and Brewery for lunch and had a few beers.
I can’t put into words how much they made my day. I was in my head about my injury, wondering if I’d actually be able to make it to Maine.
Throughout my time at The Notch so many hikers I know came through. Butter, Pretty in Pink, Fullmoon, Platinum, Bear Jew, Cactus, Butter, and at least a dozen others. It was great to get to see so many people.
The day Vista headed back on trail we found out that Skidmark and Aarp were in town. Sadly, Munch got off trail and had to have major surgery (he’s doing well and will hopefully be back on his feet again soon). Vista and I went to their hotel with some beers to hang out and catch up.
Then my friend Megan came to visit me! We’ve known each other since high school through Girl Scouts. She brought her daughter, Rita, and the 3 of us went out to lunch. Megan has been cheering me on and supporting this adventure since the very beginning and I can’t put into words how much it means. I nearly cried in the car thanking her. We got ice cream and she dropped me back off at the hostel with a care package that included beer from the brewery her husband works at!
Every day that I’ve been here I’ve iced my foot. Unfortunately for me, the best way to do that is to fully submerge my foot in a bucket of ice water. It’s terrible and I hate it. Vista made fun of me, Restart told me she was going to tell Vista I wasn’t doing it right, and I was miserable the whole time I did it.
There are 2 people here that aren’t thru-hikers, Leslie and Jeremy. Leslie is here training for the Boston Marathon. She’s an absolute Angel who has helped me out several times and given me recovery tips. Jeremy is on a mini-vacation hiking in the Whites. He’s really funny and I spent several hours porch sitting and chatting with beer in hand.
I’ve cooked food, ordered out, and eaten an entire pint of ice cream like it was nothing. There was a game night, a night when I got really drunk, and another night where I cried myself to sleep because I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep hiking.
Tomorrow I’m headed back out on the trail. I don’t know what will happen. I’ve got both knees taped up and will be wearing a brace on each. I’ll wrap my ankle and wear my support brace. I have the drive to get to Maine, but will my body allow it? We will see in the days to come.
Friday, August 20, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 152
Location: Kinsman Pond Shelter
Start/End Time: 7:45:6:30
Weather Conditions: Sunny and Humid
Today will be my first of hiking in 5 days. I’m excited to get back out on trail, but I’m terrified that one misstep will end my hike. Additionally, I’m really sad to leave. The Notch has become my home over the past few days, and I’m going to miss it. Serena has been absolutely amazing letting me do work for stay and I’ve met so many awesome people!
I took the 7:30 shuttle to Kinsman Gap with 4 other hikers. Before setting out I got a big hug from Serena and told her I’d probably be back in 2 days because there is a hurricane coming up the East coast. She said they’d probably have room, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Within 10 minutes of hiking uphill, I was sweating bullets. There is 96% humidity today. The rest of the morning uphill was challenging because I was so hot. Then I hit an area that had a bunch of ups and downs that wasn’t too bad.
I was in my head all morning about getting hurt and not being able to finish my hike. I’ve come so far and if I need to quit I’m going to be devastated. As I write this I only have 377 miles to go. I’m so close to Katahdin, but still so far away. Even though I know I’ve come so far and done so well I know I’ll feel like a failure if I can’t finish this.
Around 1 I ran into Bluelbs who left the hostel the other day heading SOBO. It was nice to see a familiar face. I was having a rough morning and just seeing his smiling face really lifted my spirits.
Soon after I arrived at the Eliza Brook Shelter for a short break. I stayed long enough to get water and have a snack before beginning my ascent of South Kinsman.
The first half of the ascent was beautiful! I hiked next to waterfalls and cascades for at least a mile. I wish I was a faster hiker because I would have stopped and hung out in one of the swimming holes I passed.
I saw a moose! I was up at Harrington Pond struggling to keep my shoes dry and stopped to look at the pond. On the opposite side was a baby moose drinking from pond! I can’t believe I got so lucky. I stayed for 10 minutes watching it drink and check me out. I was waiting for Mom to come out for a drink, but she didn’t.
After that I put my poles away because there was no way I was going to be able to do the rest of this uphill without using my hands. There were at least 2 pets where I had to hoist my backpack up first because I wouldn’t be able to do the climb with it on.
This challenging climbing and scrambling went on for about a mile and while it was hard I really enjoyed it. And boy did it pay off! The view from the top of South Kinsman was amazing! I’m glad I decided to push up and over the mountains today. The clouds had cleared and the sun was shining.
Once I reached North Kinsman I had to head downhill to the shelter. It was slow going, but I made it to the Kinsman Pond Shelter by 6:30! My body is feeling the hard day, especially after 5 days off, but I’m feeling good about the state of my ankle.
I washed off in the pond. My legs were covered in mud so that was a treat to be able to do that. I was lazy and didn’t want to cook so I had more snacks and a tuna packet with crackers. I sat on the front porch of the shelter with Pluto, a fellow NOBO thru-hiker, and chatted about our days before climbing in our sleeping bags.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 153
Location: The Notch Hostel
Start/End Time: 7:30/11:45
Weather Conditions: Sunny and Humid
I made the call to go back into town and stay there for the impending hurricane Henri. I didn’t want to get stuck up on Franconia Ridge or in the Presidentials in a hurricane.
The hard downhill to Lonesome Lake Hut was a hell of a way to start my morning. While it was only 2 miles it took me just under 2 hours because of how steep and wet all the rocks were.
Lonesome Lake Hut is really nice! I didn’t know how fancy these places where. I wonder how fancy they’ll get the further north I go? And the lake was gorgeous too!
The rest of the way down was super easy. I was next to a stream for most of it with a scramble across large rocks to get to the opposite side at one point. When the water is high this crossing must be extremely treacherous.
After passing under a highway underpass I got to the intersection of the AT and the trail to the Flume Gorge Visitors Center. I didn’t realize it was an additional .9 miles to get there. It was paved and downhill. My knees were not prepared for this.
I arrived at the parking area and tried to hitch into town. I figured it wouldn’t take too long as there were a ton of cars. I was wrong. After half an hour and nearly 50 cars, I decided to call a shuttle. Neither of the shuttles in town answered their phones or texted me back.
Luckily, I saw a cool looking couple walking their dog and asked if they’d give me a ride. They told me they were on a hike and if I wanted to go another .5 miles they’d drop me off in town.
They brought me into town and even waited for me at Wayne’s to get some food before dropping me off at The Notch.
I ate lunch and chatted with Serena, then did some snuggling with Delilah the Notch Dog too.
I set up my tent as tonight I was in the yard as the hostel was full. Then I showered and did some work for stay. Today I helped Beetlejuice, Digits, and Declan stain picnic tables before it rained.
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 154
Location: The Notch Hostel
Hostel life really does suit me. While I’m pissed that I’m not on trail I had a really great day today. Because I’m tired and a bit lazy I’m doing a list.
1. Got up bright and early and had pancakes for breakfast with a group of SOBOs.
2. Did my hours for work for stay by cleaning and changing sheets.
3. Went out to lunch at the Pemi Pub with Great Dane and Bulldog.
4. Went to Wayne’s and bought food and beer.
5. Realized while on the phone with Hoagie that it’s our 5 month trail-aversary.
6. Made a cake for my trail-aversary.
7. Played Bananagrams and Cards Against Humanity.
It didn’t rain at all today. We don’t even know if Hurricane Henri is coming our way now. I might have gotten off trail for no reason.
Monday, August 23, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 155
Location: The Notch Hostel
Today will forever be known as the day that Hurricane Henri didn’t hit us on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire.
If I wasn’t injured I’d have been pissed that the weather was beautiful. For me, maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I got off trail to give me a few more days of rest.
I got up and jumped right into my work for stay checklist. Because not as many people were leaving I ended up doing a little extra folding of laundry to make sure I had all my hours.
Then I hung out on the front porch. It was a little rainy, but not cold. With beer in hand and a bunch of other hikers hanging out I spent a couple of hours shooting the breeze.
Sat with my AWOL guide and planned my days through Franconia Ridge and over the Presidentials. I’m opting to stay in 2 of the AMC Huts in the Presidentials. This way it will ensure I don’t have to do a huge stretch up and over Mount Washington and that I won’t have to carry I ton of food. I booked a night at Lake of the Clouds and the Madison Spring Hut. I’m hoping it will not only help my ankle, but it will be a memorial experience!
After I did some planning I sat out in the back porch with Great Dane drinking and talking hiking around the world.
Then I needed to make sure I had enough food for the 6 day stretch over the mountains. I drummed out all my food on the front porch and got organized. I think I have enough food, we’ll find out.
While I was out there Earl the Pearl and Lt. Dan mentioned going to McDonald’s. I was immediately in! Declan gave us a ride and we feasted. I even got 2 double cheeseburgers for lunch for tomorrow.
By the time we walked back, because the guys weren’t patient enough to let me work my magic getting a ride, I was exhausted and went right up to bed.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 156
Location: Garfield Shelter and Campsite
Start/End Time: 8:00/6:00
Weather Conditions: Partly Sunny
Didn’t sleep great last because of how cold it was in my room. The others cranked up the A/C. This is one of the only things I dislike about hostels, temperature control.
I was up before my alarm and got all my stuff organized for the 7:45 shuttle back to the Flume Gorge Visitors Center. I did the .9 mile walk in and then started heading uphill towards Franconia Notch.
I ran into Pretty in Pink, Fullmoon, and Great Dane at the water source. Had to fill up because it was the last source until the shelter.
A little ways up the trail I ditched my pack and went to the summit of Liberty. The view was OK, but the clouds kept coming in and out. I’m making a point to do all the side trails to the summits of the 4K footers while I’m in trail. My next goal is the 4K footers in NH and most likely in all of New England.
When I came back down Nat Geo and Maui were at the base! Maui hurt her ankle and I walked with her for 2 miles up to Franconia Ridge. The climb was tough but rewarding. We had to do a bit of scrambling, but when we stopped to catch our breath looking back on where we’d come from provided some amazing views!
We ate lunch at the beginning of Franconia Ridge. I forgot I had packed out 2 double cheeseburgers, so that made my lunch even better. The clouds cleared from the ridge and it was BEAUTIFUL! It was everything I’d seen in photos and more.
The clouds rolled back in when I reached the summit of Lincoln and pretty much covered the ridge for the rest of the time
I was on it. That was a bummer, but I’m so grateful I was able to get the views I did.
Leapfrogged a guy named Steady Eddie for most of the day. He’s nice enough, but so negative. I need to get away from him. Negativity is not what I need on the trail right now.
I summited Garfield, another 4K footer, and the clouds broke to give me a view. I climbed up to the foundation of what I assume to be an old fire tower.
When I arrived the tent site was packed! The Caretaker had us not stake out our vestibules so more people could fit on the tent pads. I set up my tent right next to Pretty in Pink and Fullmoon. Thankfully it isn’t going to rain tonight.
When I was in the cooking area I heard Aarp’s voice. Soon after Skidmark rolled in too. It was so was great to see them.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 157
Location: Ethan Pond Shelter and Campsite
Start/End Time: 7:30/6:15
Weather Conditions: Sunny
I clearly didn’t think of this when choosing to sleep in my tent instead of a shelter last night, but when I woke up my tent was soaked! Because the vestibule wasn’t staked out it got covered with condensation from all my breathing. Packing up a wet tent was not something I thought I’d be doing this morning.
I purposely got up early today because I had to do 15 miles to the next campsite. While there was only 1 big uphill today I wanted to give myself plenty of time to do it as it was going to be humid.
3 miles up to Gaelhead Shelter. The staff weren’t very welcoming, but I used my thru-hiker card to get a free baked good. The cornbread was OK.
Up to the summit of South Twin was rocky. It wasn’t too steep, but I took plenty of breaks. When I reached the top Fullmoon and Pretty in Pink came up right behind me. Turns out the spot I stopped at wasn’t the actual summit. It was a little further up.
Pretty steady downhill to Zealand Hut. The Zealand waterfall was a bit of a letdown as I expected it to be bigger. It was more of a tall cascade than a waterfall in my opinion.
Then I had 5 flat miles! The area was really moosey and I saw some scat, but unfortunately no moose.
Tonight I’m staying in the shelter so I don’t have a wet tent to carry in the morning. It was completely full.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 158
Location: Mizpah Hut and Nauman Campsite
Start/End Time: 7:30/3:45
Weather Conditions: Sunny
Slept pretty well last night considering the shelter was completely full.
The 3 miles downhill to route 302 were nice and easy. When I got close to the road I saw a car with the hatchback open and I thought it was trail magic. Sadly, it wasn’t.
When I crossed the road there was a stream and I found Fullmoon and Pretty in Pink there. They headed uphill and I stopped for a snack and to get water.
The initial uphill was really hard for me. It was super humid and I was in a crummy mood. I took another break barely a half a mile from the stream.
I continued hiking after a good 20 minutes off my feet and it started to get more and more rocky. However, when the views started I began getting more and more energized. It was a blue bird sky kind of day with very few clouds. I could see so many mountains near and far.
The trees started getting smaller and smaller and the rocks harder to climb. At one point there was another hiker in front of me after he had climbed a difficult section. I looked up and asked him if he would stay there until I got to the top. He did, and while it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be I’m glad I asked him to stay anyway.
As I climbed higher and higher the trail was more exposed, and I ended up with a small sunburn on the back of my neck. I nearly ran out of water too. It was way hotter and the climb took longer than I had originally thought. Luckily, there was a trickle of water and I was able to get some.
After the big climb it was only a little further to the summit of Mount Jackson, the my 9th 4,000 footer! At the top I could clearly see Mount Washington in the distance and all the Presidentials leading up to it.
The last 2 miles to Mizpah Hut where easy going and through a swampy area with lots of boards to walk on.
I set up my tent on a platform with 2 other tents. Yet again I couldn’t fully put up my tent correctly. My rain fly is going to be covered with condensation in the morning.
Fullmoon, Pretty in Pink, and I all went into the hut to sit and relax. We got chili and cornbread to snack on and I looked ahead to plan the next week or so. I’m starting to feel confident again that my body can handle finishing the trail. I’m still going to take it slow, but I’m making progress again and it’s making me feel good.
Pink looked out the window and said, “Nat Geo and Maui are here,” I dashed outside to say hi. When they didn’t make it to camp the other night I was worried about Maui and how are ankle was holding up. She was clearly exhausted, so I gave her a hug. I sat outside with her and let her let it all out. I don’t know if it helped or not, but I hope it did.
Then Aarp showed up and I gave him a big hug! Today was a great day for hugs!
For dinner I had the last of my Mountain House meals from the couple I met at the Kinsman Pond Shelter. While I was making dinner I met 18 Wheeler and his brother (no trail name yet). We sat in the cooking around at the campsite for several hours. chatting about the trails we’ve been about 2 weeks apart since northern Virginia.
Friday, August 27, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 159
Location: Lake in the Clouds Hut
Start/End Time: 7:30/1:00
Weather Conditions: Sunny and Windy
My tent was set up next to Steady Eddie’s and Fullmoon & Pretty in Pink’s. ALL NIGHT Steady Eddie tossed and turned. Then he woke up around 5:30 and was making a ton of noise taking down his tent. I had so few miles to hike today that I was hiking to sleep in at least a little, but no luck. I was up and out by 7:30.
Within no time I was at the summit of Mount Pierce. I actually had to turn around to take a picture at the summit because I missed it. After I finish the AT my next hiking goal is to do all the high peaks in New England and I want to document each one. Pierce is one of them.
Over the last couple days, and in the days to come, there have been/will be blue blaze trails off the AT that lead to the summit of some of the 4K footers. Today I took 2 of them after Pierce.
After I left Pierce I was officially above tree line and will be completely exposed to the elements until after I reach the peak of Mount Madison in 2 days. I’m keeping the miles short so I don’t have to rush to make it to camp before nightfall.
The wind definitely picked up and I needed to be extra careful with my footing so I didn’t get caught by the wind and hurt my ankle again. I feel like every step I take has this in mind.
The clouds cleared and I could see the Mount Washington Hotel at the base of the mountains and the summit of Mount Washington herself in the distance. I could see both of these even better from the summit of Mount Eisenhower, my second 4K footer of the day. The wind really started to pick up when I reached the top and as I descended.
I ran into Great Dane and Aarp after I got back in the AT. It was still windy and I started to get chilly so I put my raincoat on as a wind break.
Then I started my ascent of Mount Monroe. I can’t believe how truly gorgeous it is here with the blue bird sky I was gifted with today. When I reached the summit I shouted, “This is beautiful!” for my girl, Vista. Skidmark was at the bottom of the mountain in the AT and he heard me. So I’m true Skidmark fashion he yelled, “Get Some!”
Right at the base of Mount Monroe is Lake of the Clouds Hut, my home for the night. I checked in early and picked my bunk. One of the Croo Members( no that’s not a spelling mistake) told me there would be 90 people spending the night tonight.
I ate soup with The Boys before they headed up Washington. Then I met a section hiker named Brain and we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and playing board games and cards. He was hilarious and after we played Yahtzee kept yelling it when something good happened in the game we played.
Dinner was a bit of a spectacle and I felt like I was back at summer camp. However, dinner was delicious! Soup, salad, rice, veggies, bbq chicken, and cookies bars.
When dinner was over I went outside to watch the sunset and it didn’t disappoint!
The only thing I’m not enjoying about this experience is that someone in this bunk room has the grossest smelling farts ever.
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 160
Location: Madison Springs Hut
Start/End Time: 7:45/4:00
Weather Conditions: Sunny with a little haze
I was up and packed before breakfast started so immediately after I could begin hiking. There were so many people, most of which don’t seem to be avid hikers in the bunk room, so I wanted to be ready to go so it wasn’t a mad dash to get out.
Breakfast was oatmeal, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and cranberry juice. I stuffed my face full of all the tasty food!
Clearly a full breakfast gets me going because my 1.4 mile climb up to the summit of Mount Washington only took me an hour. Not sure how I pulled it off, but I’m pretty impressed with myself.
When I reached the summit there were a few families in line to get there photo taken with the sign. While I was waiting I started getting chocked up and began to cry. I walk here from Georgia! One of the families asked me if I was OK and I told them I was hiking the AT and that heading into NH I sprained my ankle and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish my hike, let alone make it to this summit. With a bluebird sky I took my photo with the sign.
I went into the Visitors Center and found Micheal, a fellow Mountain House Ambassador. He did the trail a few years back and gave me trail magic! Candy, Gatorade, a Mountain House meal, and a 4 pack of PBR!
I got some stickers and sent a postcard from the tiny post office at the summit. Then I went to get food and was told by the guy at the cash register that, “Yahtzee bought me a coke.” It was a really nice surprise, thanks Brian!
Before leaving the summit hike on I took a photo with Michael hiking the Mountain House meal by the Mount Washington State Park sign.
As I was hiking down I found out there was a Hike for Mental Health going on that day. They all had orange bandannas and I thanked each of them for doing the hike.
While I was chatting with a few people doing the hike the Cog Railroad going to the summit passed by. I dropped my pack really fast then dropped my pants to moon the Cog. I’m not quite sure why, but it’s an AT tradition.
After coming down Washington I summited Mount Jefferson and Adams, 2 4K footers.
The crappiest thing to happen today was to find out that my headphones are dying. Hopefully I can get another pair in Gorham when I get there.
I got to the Madison Springs Hut around 4-ish. The croo here is super nice and dinner was basically thanksgiving dinner! I ate sooooo much food! The other hikers at the table where so nice and gave me extra because I was so hungry.
After dinner I played rummy with a group of guys and shared my beer. Today was a great day!
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 161
Location: Gorham Motor Inn
Start/End Time: 7:45/1:45
Weather Conditions: Chilly and Socked in
If I could sleep in a hut every night I’d have felt like a queen my entire hike. That bed was so comfortable and with all the hooks, and mesh net, and shelves I felt so organized too!
I ate breakfast, which was pretty much the same as at Lake in the Clouds, and started the climb up Mount Madison.
The mountains were covered in clouds. I could barely see the trail in front of me and the rocks were slippery. I took my time and went slow so I didn’t fall. I reached the summit and while the clouds wanted to clear, they didn’t.
The way down was even harder and took a very long time. It was all rocks that moved with every step. I couldn’t trust my own feet.
On the was down I met up with Squirrel, who I had seen at The Notch Hostel before I left. We hiked all the way through the rocks and into the tree line together. This was a welcome distraction for both of us.
The last 2 miles to Pinkham Notch were so easy I did them in 45 minutes! It’s like I was a real hiker again! However, once I got there I had to figure out how to get to town and where I was staying. The 2 hostels were full and I had crappy service.
I got a ride into town from a fellow hiker and ended up booking 2 nights at the Gorham Motor Inn. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow and I don’t want to do the Wildcats in the rain as they’re supposed to be challenging even when they’re not slippery.
I did laundry, took a shower, and a nap. After I arrived.
Later in the evening, Andy, who I worked with at Nature’s Classroom, came to meet up with me for dinner. Aarp and Skidmark ended up joining us, and we had a great night eating pizza and drinking beer.
Monday, August 30, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 162
Location: Gorham Motor Inn
Slept in for the first time in a long time. When I eventually woke up I turned on the TV and watched some Parks and Rec.
Today is Aarp’s birthday so we went to Eastern Depot for a late breakfast. Big Ol’ Bear, who knows Skidmark from early on was in town and came to pick us up and joined us for the meal. Aarp and I got fancy and had mimosas. Afterwards we all went to Walmart to resupply.
When I got back to the hotel I took a bath with Epsom salts that I got from the hiker box, watched the Harry Potter Marathon on the Sy-Fri channel, and took a nap.
When I woke up I had a text message from Pretty in Pink saying they were going to Mr. Pizza. I walked down there with Aarp and drank $4 Margaritas with Fullmoon, Pretty in Pink, and Great Dane. Gourmet swung by for a bit and Skidmark came later on too.
When I had too much to drink I got a ride from some lovely people I spoke with at the bar back to the hotel. Then I watched more of the Harry Potter marathon.
I paused my Harry Potter Marathon to HouseParty with my Support Crew. While we were missing 1 member it was so great to catch up with them all. They’re making big moves in life and I’m so happy for them! I can’t wait to celebrate finishing the trail with them at the end of October.
Off to bed I go, but I’m leaving the TV on so I can watch Harry Potter in my sleep.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 163
Location: Stealth site at mile 1883.4
Start/End Time: 8:14/4:45
Weather Conditions: Sunny with a breeze
Fell asleep to Harry Potter 2. Forgot to turn off TV. Woke up to Harry Potter 2. I regret nothing.
I didn’t have any texts from Skidmark or Aarp so I booked a shuttle for myself and headed to the trail.
I Met Pretty in Pink and Fullmoon at Pinkham Notch and headed up the Wildcats with them. At the beginning, the trail was easy-going and very Moosey. My first thought was, this isn’t going to be so bad. I spoke too soon.
It became super steep really fast. On top of that, it was also really humid making it even more difficult for me. However, we were rewarded with beautiful views of Washington from the top of Wildcat next to the chairlift.
The entire day was a slog. The terrain is rocky and steep. I feel like I’m back in Georgia and restarting my hike all over again. Going from doing 16-18 miles days like they’re nothing to doing 10 and you’re legs feel like jello is the worst.
After we reached the summit of Carter Dome we decided to get to Zeta Pass and reassess where we’d camp for the night. By the time we got there we were so beat that we made the call to stealth camp.
At mile 1883.4 we found a decent site where both of our tents would fit and called it.
It got a bit windy so I crawled into my tent and sleeping bag early.
Chatted with Vista about her getting new gear (backpack and shoes), the terrain I have coming up, and me catching up to her. She told me that she, Kiki, and Puff want to do the 100 mile wilderness a bit slower so I can hopefully catch up, and we can finish together. Regardless of whether this works out or not I’m going to bed with a full heart. My trail crew is full of amazing people.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 164
Location: Rattle River Hostel
Start/End Time: 7:15/2:45
Weather Conditions: Sunny bit with a Fall chill in the air
I woke up at 5:30 to get an early start, turned off the alarm I actually set, rolled over, and went back to sleep. Eventually, I got up to go pee and when I unzipped my tent all this cold air came rushing in. Afterward, I climbed back in my sleeping bag because I was so cold. I’m not ready for cold weather.
All 3 of us, Pretty in Pink, Fullmoon, and I, left camp together. We leap-frogged each other a few times, going up and over Middle Carter, and then started the tough downhill together.
This is the downhill that everyone talks about in this section and it sucks. There were parts that just went straight down and I had to find a place to put my feet. When the difficult part was done my knees were killing me.
Soon after I ran into Nat Geo. We made plans to do the Mahoosic Notch and Arm together. I texted Maui to see if she could get my resupply for me and she did! This saved me so much time!
I took my sweet ass time getting to Rattle River. Parts of the downhill were slippery and rocky, but I made it down safe and sound.
Hung out with Maui and Nat Geo at the hostel after I showered and got settled. We told Maui we were doing the Notch together and she was so happy she cried.
Odie from the Hiker Yearbook showed up in his bus. He offered a ride to anyone that needed to go into town. I went for a ride in the bus with about 8 other hikers. We stopped at several places including McDonald’s, which I had for dinner.
When we got back I put on a nice warm unicorn onesie, and sat on the back porch with Maui, while we ate and chatted.
I called Holly, who I haven’t spoken with in a while, and I texted with Hoagie who is in the 100 Mile Wilderness! She’s so close to being done. Then I went to bed nice and early to get some extra shut-eye.
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire Day: 165
Location: Gentian Pond Shelter
Start/End Time: 8:00/5:00
Weather Conditions: Cloudy
I didn’t want to get up because it was raining and chilly. My bed at the hostel was so comfy and warm.
We made pancakes for breakfast and were out hiking by 8am. We were trying to get out earlier, but Maui and I waited until the rain stopped so we would be cold and wet.
The first mile or so was a road walk. We walked over a damn and back into the woods where we found Nat Geo who stealth camped last night. Upon arrival, Maui suddenly said, “uh-oh, uh-ho, uh-ho.” I look over and she’s running into the woods pulling down her pants. She REALLY had to poop.
Once she finished and got cleaned up we kept hiking and Nat Geo was going to meet up with us later on.
I haven’t hiked with anyone in a while so it was great to have company today. Maui is so funny and I’m really glad she’s still out there. Her left ankle is messed up and I know what it’s like to question is you’re going to be able to finish. That thought is still in the back of my mind.
We climbed up this steep rocky section and arrived at the 1900 mile mark! This 100 miles had taken me so long I never thought it’d make it. The 1800 mile mark seems like it happened so long ago.
The rest of the day was up and down with lots of muddy spots in between. I put my headphones in after a while and powered through the rest of the day.
Pretty in Pink and Fullmoon were at the shelter when I arrived and Nat Geo and Maui showed up soon after I did. We all had dinner and enjoyed the beautiful view from the shelter.
Maui and I ended the night with a game of Yahtzee.
Read my journal from The Appalachian Trail in Maine
All my Appalachian Trail Journals
- North Carolina
- The Great Smoky Mountains
- The Great Smoky Mountains to Damascus, VA
- Southern Virginia
- Virginia Part 2
- West Virginia and Maryland
- New Jersey and New York
- Connecticut and Massachusetts