[at-l] trail notes, Crawford Notch

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Mon Aug 20 06:53:21 CDT 2012


I was at the trailhead from Wed evening to Sunday morning. 59 hikers came
by, most are NoBo with only 3 or 4 SoBo hikers. These are possibly the last
of this year's SoBo's; a record year. One hiker is on the Flip.

The only bad weather was a sudden T-storm on Thursday night. Otherwise the
high pressure over the Whites just made the weather nicer & nicer for the
hikers. Each night was progressively colder, and on Sunday morning my sense
of temperature put us at about 45 F. The low at the summit of Washington was
41 F. The high will move off today and the weather should be more humid with
brief showers for a few days. Mt. Washington was clear a a bell on Sunday
morning without a speck of clouds until mid-day. I wanted to be on the
ridge. In my 14 + trips to Mt. Washington I still haven't had a clear day on
the summit! Jealousy rears its ugly head...

So far this season at least 3 SoBo hikers have fallen while descending Mt.
Webster towards Rt. 302, each with some minor injuries but all decidedly
frightened at what happened. On Friday morning Dirty came in, still shaken,
with 2 broken poles and an injured knee. He hiked on after a few of us
quizzed him & he promised to just give it a try and move on up to Ethan
Pond, making it a short day. He wrote in my trail register "Hurt the knee
and broke the poles in the middle of the lightning & thunder last night.
What may have been the worst day on the trail was followed by one of the
best things that happened yet. It may have saved my thru-hike. Thank you,
rockdancer, you are no trail angel, you are a trail god. --Dirty"

(Now, I know this is a bit of puffery for me to send this out but it's been
evident to me every year that the SoBo's deserve credit for doing so much
hard hiking in their first 350 miles on the trail.)

Rockfish is out on the trail, doing a piece from Gorham to Glencliff. Since
his first hike in '99 I believe he's approaching (or has accomplished) the
double Triple Crown. We had a great time hanging out on Friday night with
additional grilled bratwurst & brews from Hobo Joe from 2010 (sorry if I've
screwed up the name.). Other highlights was a Quad-Trail Magic event on
Saturday when the stars lined up & other trail alumni showed up, one-by-one,
handing out magic for the day. About 14 hikers participated in this jumbo
event. Ladypants from 2011 brought delightful home cooking and civilized us
boys a bit by bringing a 5-month old along. Two non-hikers brought a dozen
pre-packaged trail magic in memory of a hiker who died in 2011. "John
Wayne", sometime "John Fucking Wayne" died in an hiking accident after
finishing his AT hike last year. He was a Boston-area hiker and his sister &
brother-in-law wanted to make a toast to his memory trailside with a bunch
of this year's hikers. Touching ceremony near the RR tracks.

Many other nice hiker things happening: A German trail enthusiast explained
some of the RR track features at the Willey House Station site; 2 Swiss
hikers sang me a German-Swiss lullaby; Wiffle Chicken just cracked me up a
lot; international hikers from Denmark, Netherlands (the boy with
"trenchfoot"); Road Warrior's birthday; 2 different mother-son teams (one
SoBo, one NoBo my first ever); and one hiker still wants to see a moose for
the comic effect engendered in Bryson's quote: "A cow drawn by a three-year
old."

I'll be returning in a couple of days once I resupply, do laundry, etc.
--RockDancer




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