Glencliff, NH to Beaver Brook Shelter
Miles Hiked: 8
AT Milage: 1801.1
Today I tried to sleep in as much as I could because I had to wait until noon before I could get my package from the post office and start hiking. I relaxed as much as I could all morning. It was so cold at the hostel I had on my puffy jacket and crawled inside my sleeping bag. It was a rainy cold morning and I was glad to be inside. I read some of my book “I’m a Stranger Here Myself” by Bill Bryson. I’ve been carrying it since I got back on trail and I’m almost finished. Bryson has hiked alot of the AT himself and is famous for his book about it called “A Walk in the Woods”. I hope to read more of his books but the one I have now literally makes me laugh out loud. Anyways, around 12 I started getting my things ready and picked up my package from the post office. When I went outside I found out that it had turned out to be a really nice day so I was very excited to start hiking!
I got on the trail around 12:30 maybe 1pm. I had almost a six mile climb up 3800 feet to the top of Mount Moosilauke at 4803 feet. My first mile seemed pretty easy. I ran into a bull dozer tearing up a road and it seemed like part of the trail when I came to a small road crossing. I was a little overwhelmed and accidentally walked 0.25 miles the wrong way before I realized it and had to turn around. The state of NH really sucks at marking the blazes on the AT. I thought I was on the AT because they hardly have any blazes to begin with and it’s really confusing. Yesterday, I was on the trail and I saw white blazes to my right about 30 feet into the forrest and not near any trail. Apparently the trail had been relocated but the old blazes that are still in sight were never removed making it easy to get lost if you’re not paying attention, especially in the dark.
When I started the actual climb up the mountain, I was feeling really good. My body felt well rested and energized for once in a really long time. My feet weren’t hurting me yet I and I was having positive thoughts for the entire climb. The weather was beautiful and I was so happy about it. The climb although long, steep, and challenging felt really good and I was so proud of myself for powering up the mountain like a strong hiker would. Lately I’ve been struggling with the very steep uphills so this was a nice change. I was so happy I told myself I didn’t even care if there was a view at the top, I just love hiking this much.
Eventually, I reached the top of the south peak and I took a side trail to the view. This was my first time above tree line in my whole life and my first time in an alpine climate. I was so amazed at how many huge mountains I could see all around me. The wind was a tad strong and I could see how it would be scary if the speed picked up or the weather suddenly changed. I could see the north peak, a mile hike away and couldn’t wait to be on the very top. I took a ton of pictures.
I left the south peak and headed up the north peak. The only other people I saw hiking on the whole mountain were two day hikers I passed as they were coming down from the north peak. The one mile to the north peak was on a completely exposed trail marked by Carins (the correct and ethically built ones). I couldn’t believe I had finally made it to the white Mountains and how freaking pretty it was. At the top I tried to take my own picture with a timer on my camera. I wanted to stop and eat food because I was so hungry but I decided I had better wait until I was protected by the trees. I left the cold chilly summit and headed to the shelter 2-3 miles downhill. The descent was steep but I know the worst of it will come tomorrow. At the shelter was one other hiker named “little hill” an elderly gentleman with pure white hair. He hiked here all the way from Georgia this year too. I ate a ton of food and got in my sleeping bag as fast as I could because it was so cold. It’s supposed to get down to 36 tonight! I wish I could have gone further and camped at a lower elevation but I had very limited options. My next camp option was 9 more miles away which would definitely be completed in the dark. I’m just really happy how my first day in the white mountains went.