9/11 Gorham (US 2) (12.6)

October 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm

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We woke up today sweating!  We were very confused.  Where we back in Pennsylvania instead of camping at almost 4000 feet in the White Mountains?  Sure enough, we got out of our tent and packed up in a bizarrely warm sunny morning.  Indian summer is here!  We spent a lazy morning hiking up Middle Carter and stopping to enjoy the sunny 70 degree weather even on the exposed mountains.  Mt. Moriah was a perfect lunch spot with its wide ledges.  We stretched out in the warm sun and I thought it was funny that after a week of freezing cold conditions that we’ve been struggling to hike out of, we are now perfectly content to linger on top of a mountain.  Town is within reach, but we aren’t as eager as we were yesterday to reach it.

IMG_20130911_113530_082Eventually, though, Mark convinced me that the warm temperature change was probably indicative of a big front coming in and, in anticipation of those thunderstorms from yesterday showing up late to the party, we got moving.  Sure enough, as we hiked down from Moriah, the thunder began to echo in the distance.  We quickened our pace and passed Rattle River Shelter as the thunder grew loud overhead and the first drops began to hit us.  It was tempting to take shelter but we knew we were only two miles from the road so we pushed on.  Then the thunderstorm broke over our heads and came down suddenly.  For a few minutes it was wild but then it went almost as quickly as it came, the thunder rumbling away in the distance.  When we emerged in the parking lot at US 2, the rain had stopped and we called for a ride to the hostel to deliver our bedraggled bodies to real showers.

IMG_20130912_213630_940We were in luck, too!  There was a Bud Light Promo Night at the town bar and we found just about every hiker we know in town when we got there.  Six and Dangerpants were there and Six treated a big group of us to pizza and beer, feeling grateful to have conquered the Whites, which were special landmarks for him, since had had been hiking them with his family for years.  IMG_20130912_233642_890We had a great night wearing free Bud T-shirts and dancing to the music everyone picked on the jukebox.  It was a lot of fun after some hard miles in the Whites.  We were celebrating our accomplishment in getting through ‘the toughest mountain range of the AT’ but also we were celebrating what we have ahead of us: Maine.

 



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