8-10-12

AT miles hiked today: 9.6
Total AT miles hiked: 1026.6

We made it to Full Goose Shelter after hiking from 7:30am to 7pm in the cold wind and constant rain. One thing that happens in this kind of weather is that you don't really take breaks, so Toe Knee waited for us to take a lunch break and pictures at the border of New Hampshire and Maine. Otherwise, we spent the rest of that time hiking with hardly any breaks.

In the shelter tonight are Standing Bear, Chucky da Phish, and No Trace and Unbreakable, Hippity Hop is tenting, and Dame Quixote did not make it. We think she stopped at the Carlo Col shelter five miles south of here, because she is smart and didn't want to go through what we just went through. If it is raining tomorrow, as predicted, and as has happened the last two days, then we all plan to take a zero at the shelter. Nobody wants to hike Mahoosuc notch in weather like today.

Today was miserable, up there in my top three worst days. The rain stopped long enough this morning that I hiked out in the fog. Then it started up again and rained all day. There was even lightning and thunder early on. Bad weather for some very extreme terrain. There were multiple sections that had rebar going up sheer cliff walls that had turned into waterfalls from the rain. There were many slippery wood planks and steps and ladders. I was very scared a few times today. I didn't actually think I would die, but I knew I could, just like on Moosilauke. Toe Knee stepped off a wooden plank into the mud and sank in to her thigh. It was quicksand, basically. She couldn't get her boot out, or her leg, and I couldn't pull her out either. I helped her take her pack off and she used the submerged wooden planks to pull herself out finally. That was scary. What if she had been hiking alone? We were worried about hypothermia and it was getting close to dark. Then she fell into the mud again, face first this time. I felt so bad for her I sang to try to cheer us both up. I kept wondering when this mountain would ever end and had we missed the trail or passed the shelter? Finally climbing one more ladder, in the dim last light of the stormy day, suddenly there was the shelter, and safety. I can't believe I was able to hike what I just hiked, especially in this weather. Caveman came in after dark, looking a bit shell shocked. I understand. That was an intense hike today. We will hike Mahoosuc notch tomorrow, if the weather clears up, or the next day if not. So far I do believe Southern Maine is harder than the Whites.