Posts

13 Falls Campsite (8/13-14/22)

Image
Sometimes you just need a pick me up. This has been a rough summer. It started with a bunch of grand plans about all the places that I was going to go hike. However, gas prices quickly foiled that, as driving to New Hampshire is expensive at the moment. Temperatures then made the situation worse, as the mid-summer heat wave this year made hiking fall somewhere between unpleasant and impossible. As a result, I have been stuck at home for most of the summer, unable to do any real adventuring besides occasional bike rides. Thus, the need for a pick me up. The weather forecast for this past weekend looked great, with Jefferson, NH, showing highs around 70 and a low of 45, which is perfect hiking weather. It has been a long time since I have gotten out backpacking, so I decided to do a backpacking trip. I didn't feel like doing any serious mountain climbing, so I wanted to pick out a route that would be long but gradual. I also wanted to stay off the Appalachian Trail, as the bubble sho

Belknap Traverse (7/30/22)

Image
 Yesterday's hike was a bit different. I was hiking with Hummingbird (Dragonfly's cousin) and Ben (Dragonfly's brother-in-law), but not Dragonfly herself. The hike all started with Hummingbird. She wanted to do a traverse of the Belknap Range, hitting all twelve peaks in one hike. That would be about nineteen miles and 5000' of elevation gain. Hummingbird knew that this was beyond Dragonfly's range, so she asked the two strongest hikers she knew, Ben and I, to join her. Neither Hummingbird nor Ben had ever done a hike of this length before, so I felt it was important that we start really early. This was not only to give us enough time to finish the hike, but also to take advantage of the cooler morning before it got hot later in the day. We all agreed to meet at the Mt. Major parking lot at 6 AM. This was quite an obligation for Ben, as he would be driving from Connecticut, meaning he had to get up at like 2:30 AM. I had to get up at 4:45 AM to travel from Dragonfly

Connecticut AT Day 4 (4/19/22)

Image
The blog entry name is kind of a misnomer for this blog, because none of Day 4 was actually spent in Connecticut, as Ben and I had crossed into Massachusetts. That said, this is my Connecticut hike, so I am keeping the name. The goal for today was to make it to Route 7 in Great Barrington, which is where I started from last year . That would complete the Massachusetts section, making it the only state where I will have completed every last foot of it, although Connecticut and Maine are close. Last night was not as bad as predicted, but that didn't make it good. As mentioned in the previous blog entry, the storm started at 12:45 AM, and it continued through the rest of the night. The wind was howling, and we heard it quite a bit, but thankfully we weren't affected by it thanks to sleeping in the loft. It was cold, but I don't think it ever dropped into the 20s. Still, I did a couple things differently than what I normally do while hiking. For one thing, I slept in my sleepin

Connecticut AT Day 3 (4/18/22)

Image
I slept well in the comfortable hotel bed. Unlike the last two days of getting up before the crack of dawn, on this day I was happy to take it easy. Ben and I only had 13 miles planned, which is not a lot for a full backpacking day. We did have a decent bit of elevation gain coming in four significant climbs, but I still wasn't in a rush.  The Interlaken Inn provided some nice continental breakfast items. I had a couple hard boiled eggs to get some protein, and then some other various high carb items to give me energy for the day. When we went to check out, the people at the Interlaken Inn were super friendly, and asked us all about what we would be hiking that day. I guess that the Interlaken doesn't get a lot of hikers, as they are a little pricey compared to what hikers normally go for, but I was very happy with our stay there. We got on trail at around 8:30 or so. I was a bit sore from the 27 mile day yesterday, but once my body realized that we were back on trail, it whipp

Connecticut AT Day 2 (4/17/22)

Image
Day 2 was even earlier than Day 1. I woke up at about 5 AM, and I was on trail at 6:05 AM. I didn't even need to set an alarm; I knew that I would be up on time. The plan called for a 26 mile day, so an early start was a must. The first few miles were easy wandering along the Housatonic River. I came across some signs saying that the Housatonic should not be used as a water source, and I thought to myself that would have been useful information to post at the shelter. Thankfully, I didn't drink from it anyhow. I got my water from a feeder stream running into the Housatonic. I would assume that the Housatonic is probably polluted and that's the reason it's unsafe. I seem to remember seeing a sign that said something like that in Great Barrington last year. Regardless, the first few miles of the hike went well. The trail was wet from the rain last night, but beyond that it was a pretty morning. There was a fog hanging over the river, and that led to some fantastic photo o

Connecticut AT Day 1 (4/16/22)

Image
I am back on the Appalachian Trail for another section, this time hiking through Connecticut. As usual, my wonderful girlfriend Dragonfly helped me drop my car off at the endpoint yesterday, and then drove me to the starting point this morning. I started out on Connecticut Route 55, right after the New York border. It was an early start, too. The weather forecast showed afternoon rain, so I wanted to get off trail before it set in, and I had an 18 mile day planned. Thus, Dragonfly got me to the trailhead around 6:15 AM. We took some start of hike pictures, and then I was off. It was a nice morning for hiking. The woodpeckers were hard at work. However, lest I forget that I was in Connecticut and not somewhere more remote like Maine, I kept hearing a train whistle, and there were a number of residences visible from trail. The mud was a problem at the lower elevations. It wasn’t as bad as it would have been in some place like Vermont, but there were definitely some puddles that had to be