[at-l] 8/5-11: Edgewater, NJ to Belmont, MA

Mara Factor mfactor at gmail.com
Sat Sep 22 17:17:44 CDT 2012


Unlike most of my journals which stop when I get back to the Boston area, I
decided to continue this one just a few more days to write about a few days
of trail magic in the White Mountains (starting on Wednesday).  So, I've
cc'ed the AT-L, an Appalachian Trail mailing list as well on this set of
journal entries.  Those of you on both lists will get this twice.

Since I've been back in Boston, I've made a total of four trips to the
White Mountains doing trail magic with Arthur.  I've also been house
sitting in two different places and finally moved into a house with a
furnished room for rent in Medford.

I'm currently exploring a house sitting opportunity for the winter as well
as a return trip to Southeast Asia.

Stay tuned...

Mara

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, August 5, 2012: Edgewater, NJ to East Hartford, CT

I started the day with my usual New Jersey bagel run.  It's a treat for
those of us who don't regularly get New York style bagels so I bring some
back for both of my sisters in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Fast food for lunch and internet.  Then a visit with my mother.  I picked
up my family's favorite pizza at Anna's in a torrential downpour.
 Thankfully, my towel was handy in the car and the rain had mostly stopped
by the time I got to Rocky Hill.  I spent the evening catching up with my
sister Sharon, who is laid up with a broken foot, and watching the
Olympics.  This is the first opportunity I have had to do so.


Monday, August 6, 2012: East Hartford, CT to Malden, MA

I did some shopping for my mother before breakfast which was at my sister's
place.  I then dropping off the shopping and got on the road back to Boston.

Arriving at my sister, Lori's, place, I found I had won the 2012 Olympic
Gold medal for Traveling.  My niece and nephew had put a welcome sign up on
the door, added the Olympic rings, and made me my own medal.  How cool is
that?


Tuesday, August 7, 2012: Malden

Laundry.  Shower.  Take it easy.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012: Malden to Crawford Notch, NH

I met Arthur in the morning and together, we drove up to Concord, NH to
meet Shannon at the supermarket.  With about $200 worth of groceries, we
caravaned up to Crawford Notch to do trail magic and celebrate Arthur's
60th birthday.  Unbeknownst to Arthur, Shannon and I had talked beforehand
and Shannon managed to buy a birthday cake on the way to meet us.

We ran into our first hikers, southbounders, at the lower trailhead even
before we parked the car.  When we got to the upper lot, it didn't take
long to erect the tarp with the help of the hikers and when Arthur
(Rockdancer) took Shannon to set up his tent, I pulled out the cake and got
it ready for Rockdancer's return.  By the time Arthur and Shannon returned,
we had been joined by more hikers and nine of us made quite a Happy
Birthday chorus when we surprised Arthur with the cake.

We've celebrated Arthur's birthday doing trail magic in the past.  It was
nice to do so again.

For dinner, we boiled up hotdogs for dinner.

All day, I've been trying to transition to calling Arthur, Rockdancer.
 Along the trail, it's easier using trail names.  Off the trail, I've
gotten in the habit of calling him Arthur.


Thursday, August 9, 2012:

It was a slow day with surprisingly few hikers.  Shannon and I did a run to
the Irving gas station/convenience store in the morning.  On the way back,
we found Crawford Depot has a great outdoor water source now.  It was
perfect for refilling the gallon jugs we keep handy for hikers who may want
some fresh water.

Shannon said good-bye in the afternoon and we settled in under the tarp for
the afternoon.

The weather had been deteriorating all day.  I managed to crawl into my
tent just before rain really let loose.  It was only then that I realized
my tent now leaks badly.  I managed to find a way to divert the leaking
water so I could get some sleep.


Friday, August 10

We had a brief respite from the rain this morning.  There were beautiful
cloud formations in the Notch when we did a Depot run.

 Back at the Park, we ran into our first hikers of the day.  These early
hikers intended to hike on but settled in for quite a while.  More hikers
came.   Bad weather came.  It just got worse and worse.  At one point, we
had twelve people under the tarp this afternoon.  One hiker tried to leave
and came back an hour later when he thought better about climbing Webster
Cliffs with lightning around.  Smart man.

With my tent leaking like a sieve, and a lot of hikers with very wet gear,
Arthur, myself, and one other hiker took off to see if Dickerman cabin
would be a suitable refuge given the conditions.  Arthur, a member of the
Sub Sig Outing Club, was hoping other club members might have opened the
cabin for the weekend.  The cabin was open and when the three members who
were there realized what was happening with the hikers, they welcomed us
and made us feel right at home.

Two of us settled in while Arthur went to pick up the remaining three
hikers who would also be joining us.  It was raining so hard when Arthur
got back to the other hikers, that they just loaded up the hikers and a
minimal amount of trail magic gear and beat a hasty retreat back to the
cabin.  Arthur ended up leaving his personal gear behind so had minimal
stuff to get through the night.  By the time they got back, I and the other
woman had settled in, gotten our stuff out of the way, and were ready to
help out or just stay out of their way as they settled in.  The weather,
already bad beforehand, had gotten worse and it was pouring.  Everyone who
came in was wet as was their gear.  There was limited space to leave items
to dry but we all managed.

The club members declined any payment from the thruhikers but I paid
minimal guest dues.  With the forecasted dismal weather, many club members
who had planned on attending for the weekend canceled so we were treated to
a delicious hot meal of chicken, rice, and veggie sauce that would have
otherwise fed the club members.

I think we were all thankful to be out of the weather this evening.  It
poured on and off all evening.


Saturday, August 11, 2012: Crawford Notch, NH to Belmont, MA

There was no need to rush this morning.  Arthur made two trips to get
everyone back up to the Notch.

I was with the second car.  When we got back to the Notch, we found that
the hikers enlisted by Arthur to help clean up the garbage that had gotten
strewn about last night after Arthur had been forced to leave the garbage
behind yesterday, had been joined by two hikers who had just hiked into the
Notch this morning.  I'm not sure how bad it had gotten, but they had
cleaned up most of the garbage by the time I had gotten there.  Normally,
we would never leave the garbage bag out overnight but in order to get
everyone to the cabin last night in only two car loads, the garbage had
gotten left behind yesterday.

The hikers from overnight had moved on and the two hikers that had hiked
out this morning joined us for a bit, enjoying some trail magic before
moving on.  Other hikers came and went through the morning and Arthur and I
finally took off for home in the afternoon.

Thus ends yet another U.S. Road Trip.



Visit my Travels and Trails web site at:
http://friends.backcountry.net/m_factor
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