The Beginning of the End

I don’t know how, but I seem to have lost an e-mail here or there. As some of you might remember, Jack (Traveler) has finished his through-hike of the Appalachian Trail. His tails from the last stretch are trickling in and I want to finish updating any of you who enjoy reading.

July 20, 2008  Kinsman Pond Shelter to Lonesome Lake Hut (1.9 miles)
Today it’s raining and cool. I’m glad it was a short day since I got soaked on the short hike to the Hut. On arrival, the “Croo”, young people who run the Hut, had hot soup, bread, and cake available, so I ate and began trying to dry my hiking clothes.  They have bunks, meals, and a privy, but no shower or laundry. Three out of five isn’t  bad if you’re a thru-hiker!  Tomorrow will be a long day with lots of climbing to the next Hut.

July 21, 2008 Lonesome Lake Hut to Greenleaf Hut (9.3 miles) 
It rained all night, but this morning it was sunny with some clouds. The “Croo” served a good breakfast including oatmeal, eggs, ham, and coffee.  I got an early start.The first 3 miles were downhill and the trail was like a running brook with all the rain we’ve had. I reached Franconia Notch about 9AM and began climbing with an elevation gain of over 4000 feet over the next 6 miles. Much of the hike was above tree line.  I got a few good pictures, but the clouds were rolling in by the time I got above the line. Greenleaf Hut is over a mile down from the summit of Mt. Lafayette so I’ll begin tomorrow with a climb. I also went over Mt. Lincoln earlier. The rain held off 
until I was almost at the Hut so I arrived soaked. I’m now in dry clothes and contemplating a nap before dinner. I like the Huts!

July 22, 2008 Greenleaf Hut to Galehead Hut (7.7 miles) 
The day began with a 1.1 miles hike back up Mt. Lafayette to the AT. The trail was rugged, steep, and rocky.  Rain began about noon as I was descending Mt. Garfield. It was like hiking down a waterfall. The hike definitely was harder and slower than I had thought it would be, but I’m sure glad to be staying in a Hut tonight. More rain is expected.

July 23, 2008 Galehead Hut to Zealand Falls Hut (7.0miles)
Today was wet and chilly (high 40’s) with fog and 100% humidity. Visibility was limited so no vistas were possible. The trail remains rocky and steep, but was not as formidable as yesterday.  It’s nice to be staying in the Huts particularly in this rainy weather. Most of the people here are just out to hike for a few days and appear to enjoy questioning a “real thru-hiker”. I’ve enjoyed a group of 5 men from Philadelphia these last few days. They included me with their group at mealtime and were very pleasant company.
Traveler

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