July 25, 1998

7/25/98 Gorham, NH

13.2 miles (1863.7 total)

Last night was the coldest I’ve been in a while. Billy Goat crashed early while Obi-Wan spent the evening teaching his sister the basics of setting up camp and cooking.

Got up several times in the night and found nothing in the sky but stars. The cold made it very hard to get out of bed. The funniest thing to happen at this campsite was our comical attempts to hang our food bags. At least 4 times, we got the rope caught in the tree, needing someone to climb the tree twice.

Left Obi-Wan and Spinner about 8am and headed out on the windy trail. Once I worked up a sweat, the wind really got me cold. Our climbs weren’t hard but it still seemed to wear us out. The climb down North Carter was extremely steep. At times, I threw my poles down as I needed both hands to climb down. Saw a few weekenders but this section is a lot less crowded.

The views of Mount Washington were great again. The wind kept blowing clouds across the peaks. Another beautiful day.

Another stream crossing

Up over Mount Mariah and did the long downhill to Rattle River Shelter. The stream was very nice, lots of rapids. Didn’t see the trail that went behind the shelter, so had to ask a weekender camped out by the stream. He pointed out a 10 foot deep swimming hole but we decided to keep heading for town. The last 2 miles were on a flat downhill path. Good thing too, because we almost had to run because of the mosquitoes.

Got to the road at 2:30, just as I predicted. Had a little trouble hitching even though I flashed some leg from time-to-time. A guy out for some weekend canoeing gave us a lift into town.

After getting cleaned up, Billy Goat and I decided to tackle the "super-stomper" at Mr. Pizza. A few southbounders, three in fact, said they couldn’t finish the whole thing. We felt it was a challenge we northbounders were up to. The waitress brought out a huge pan, almost covered the whole table. She didn’t think we could finish it. The last few pieces were tough to get down but we ate the whole 384 square inches of that pepperoni and sausage pizza.

Headed back to the Hiker’s Paraidse with a six pack and ended up getting to bed late, watching TV. That’s OK, because I’m taking tomorrow off. Mom informed me that my cousin Nancy had died this week and the funeral was today. I feel this hike is now for her. I was so looking forward to seeing her and showing pictures and telling stories. Goddess bless her in the next life.