Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike, New Hampshire

Written by Afterburner. Added on August 14, 2006.

08/09 Hiked with Sandman & Irish to Galehead Hut. Hiked over Mt. Liberty, Haystack, Lincoln, Lafayette, & Garfield. The walk along the ridge was fantastic, you could see forever. Hike down from Garfield was very steep & rocky. Still having problem with my left knee, hope it gets better.

08/10 Hiked with Sandman & Irish to Crawford Notch Visitor’s Center. Another good day on the ridge. Hiked over Twin mt. & Guyot Mt. Had lunch at Zealand Falls Hut. Last 6 miles were a gradual down to the road, very hard on the knees. When we reached the road, it started to pour, we were soaked by the time we got to the Visitor’s Center, but a good hot shower & meal felt great.

08/11 Hiked with Sandman & Irish to Lakes of the Clouds Hut. First 3 miles was a steady steep climb up Webster Cliffs to Mt. Webster.Had lunch at Mizpah Hut, then climbed up Mt. Pierce & Franklin. The view was fantastic until we got to Mt. Eisenhower. We ran into a snow squawl, temp dropped and the wind blew something fierce. The last mile to the hut was a tough climb due to the wet slippery rocks, cold temp & high winds, they kept blowing us sideways. That night it was very cold, 31 degrees, wind speeds of 45-70 mph, chill factor was 12-17 degrees, and no heat in the huts. Rocks made it hard on my knees.

08/12 Climb up to Mt. Washington was extremely tough due to the weather. Very cold, wet & windy. The wind kept blowing us around. When we got to the top, the temp was 30 degrees, in the clouds, and winds up to 80 mph. You could not stand up straight, you had to lean into the wind. Because of knees, decided to go down to Pinkham Notch, where I called some friends who were visiting in the area, and they came & picked me up. Stayed with them that evening.

08/13 Friends dropped me off at Pinkham Notch. Sandman & Irish had already eaten breakfast & were getting ready to head out. After I ate, I started the climb up Wildcat Mountain. On the 2nd set of cliffs, near the top, I slipped on some loose rocks and twisted my knee, very sore and hard to put weight on it. At this point, I had a very hard decision to make. I knew that it would be very difficult to continue, and I didn’t want to take the chance of permanent damage, so I hobbled back down the Mountain. I called my friends with the hope that they were still in the area, and they came and got me and brought me home with them. I decided to call this hike over for this year, a very tough decision, but I think that it is the right one. I will attempt to complete my hike next year.

08/14 At home, it is hard to imagine that I have hiked 1861 miles since I started this journey in March. I have met some wonderful people both on & off the trail. I would like to say thanks to all the Trail Angels who provided shuttles for the hikers, and to all the people who provided Trail Magic along the trail. Without your support, this journey would have been much harder. I have met so many new friends on the trail, and will keep in contact with them. A very special thank you to my wife Sue, who encouraged me to persue my dream,sent my mail drops, and each week as I called home, was there to encourage me when times were tough & share in the good times along the trail.

Until next time, Afterburner signing off.