First backpacking trip in recent years. Had a 27 pound backpack on and felt every ounce of it on my spine as we hiked up Moosilauke on Day 1. With a thunder shower forecast for the weekend, we had one person drop out from the team just the night before the trip. After the initial meet at the Appalachian Trailhead on NH-25A, eight of us packed in two cars head towards the Beaver Brook Trailhead at Kinsman Notch on NH 112. Started the hike at around 09:30hrs up the Beaver Brook trail.
Wasn’t quite feeling too well as we made the initial push. With about 3000 ft of elevation gain in the first two miles, I already had some serious second thoughts on this trip. Decided to take it slow on the way up and take a call once I reach the summit. Plan B was to make my way back to Beaver Brook shelter and rest there while the rest of the team traverses the Appalachian trail and make their way down south towards the Gilmans corner AT trailhead on NH 25A.
Skirting around Mt. Blue we reached the Mt. Moosilauke summit at around 13:30hrs. Lucked out on the weather and had some beautiful 360 degree views. Some pretty good views of Franconia notch, Mt. Washington and several other peaks! Eventually decided to head below tree line and make our way down on the AT towards Jefferson Shelter. Incessant rain and the steep down gradient took a good toll on the knees. Reached the shelter at around 17:15 dripping wet. Setup the tent in the rain and was totally knocked out in a few minutes.
Met Chief and Doc – two septuagenarians, one with Parkinsons and the other a veteran who’ve been hiking the AT together every year for the last 40 years! Some great trail talk and we leave the next day morning south bound. My knees weren’t doing that great and I decided to bail out once we reach NH 25C, about 5 miles from the shelter. Urged the rest of the team to continue on the trail for the next five miles. After about a 3 mile downhill run on route 25C, an elderly gentleman stops by the side and agrees to shuttle me to the start point. Hitchhiked for the first time ever in the U.S and was an interesting car ride! A french teacher in a school in NYC who’s settled in Warren. His wife runs a shop up in Loon Mountain and someday when I get there, I’ll make sure to check and connect the dots. Quickly change in the car and rush back on the trail north bound to meet the rest of the team. They apparently met a trail angel who was serving hot omelettes and muffins!
A great weekend in the whites. I should get back to this sometime soon once I square out a few things.