8/30 Smarts Ranger Cabin (16)

October 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm

IMG_20130830_151410_397We’re back in NH but we aren’t home yet!  We woke up today and discovered that in our hurry we had set up camp within sight of the road!  I woke up to hear Zeke laughing and when I poked my head out of the tent, saw the traffic through the trees zipping past and staring out their windows at our tent and hammock.  I’m sure it was an interesting morning commute for some people.

IMG_20130830_165259_297We headed up and over Moose mountain, where we failed to see any of its namesake, and then up again to Holts Ledge for lunch.  We ate at the smaller view spot and then realized later to our amusement that there was a larger ledge.  Our day was seriously redeemed after we headed down into Lyme, however.  We were a little curious about the ‘side trail to Bill Ackerly home’ on our map, so when we passed his sign we took a detour.  We found a mob scene of all the people we had been chasing!  Hagrid, Killer, Delorean, Saga, Talker and others were sitting around the porch when we walked up, planning a serious croquet game.

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We watched the hikers grow cutthroat in a competitive croquet tournament while Bill gave some sage advice, and then offered bourbon to all the participants (and spectators, fortunately).  We realized that bourbon might be the best thing for our aching joints, which continue to sound like cereal when we move, and vowed to begin self-medicating at night when we were able to pack out whiskey.

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Bill offered us his lawn for tenting since it was growing late, but unfortunately we had to keep moving on (we’re due at home tomorrow night!), so we started optimistically up the aptly named Smarts Mountain as the sun went to bed.  It turned out to be a pretty tough climb.  After a long, flat trip through the middle of the country and a sweeping, well graded tour through Vermont and Mass, New Hampshire is a real wake-up call.

We made it to the Ranger cabin at the to of Smarts with Hagrid, Killer, Zeke well after dark and collapsed on the floor among the other sleeping hikers.  We had a hard time falling asleep with our adrenaline going strong.  Despite being a challenging late night hike, the climb had been exhilarating and left us feeling tired but ready for tomorrow.

IMG_20130830_193519_076We’re not in Vermont anymore…