03 May 27, FRI – hiking from Gorham, NH to Gentian Pond Shelter – again

May 27, FR – Today will be my first full hiking day.

06:24 – woke up twice in the night – at 21:33 and 04:05. My feet did feel the cold, but that was fixed with a pair of socks. From early morning mosquitos are circling the hammock, but they can’t get in. But how to get out? The only way to make a quick dash to cold brook to reduce the body temperature to become less “visible” for the bugs. First breakfast – just cold water mixed with berries, nuts, and granola – very good.  Forecast shows the rain to start at 6PM.  Ok, I have 9 miles to hike today.

Start the hike at 8AM, and first climb is to Mountain Hays (2,580’) only 1.8 mi long.  This trail section connects to AT.  It is sparsely marked with blue blazes, but clearly visible.

At 09:07 the first view down to Gorham or possible Berlin opens up.  At 09:30 I make a quick stop on slopes facing Presidential Range. There are no bugs at first, but they quickly discover a new victim and begin to swarm. I am trying to appreciate the outside.  I am sitting leaning back into the branches. But the hike is considerably harder this time. I am much more in the moment due to simply all my energy is concentrated on moving forward.

10:00 from this point I am back at Appalachian Trail (AT) and yet – no people, no foot traffic.

10:35 – I descended to a brook. The day will be up and down climbs to the familiar places being just slightly behind the 2017 schedule.

11:14 It is different to hike on the familiar grounds. The memories of individual parts and features slowly floating on top. Here I was resting, snaking, and more. Here was a photo opportunity. And from here I had a nice hike down. Five years ago, on these slopes, I’ve encountered a pair of northbound through hikers who were doubting if they are still on AT.

This time I am more through, trying to note more, explore more side trails. Trident Col Campsite is a 0.2mi side trail, but worth exploring. Nice tent platforms, toilet, bear box, and even new this year donation box.  Suggested fee is $15. But who has change in the woods? There are 4.9mi to go to shelter from here.

I reach Page Pond around 14:13. This pond is so full of life, full of unfamiliar bird songs and frog songs, but you feel that unending trail pressure to go on.  Take a swim, but there is not firm bottom. One must hold on to boulders and do not step on the “ground” as everything is so fragile here.

15:40 Just reached a boulder with a view – a good enough reason to take a small break. 3.2 mi to go.

16:31 I am at Dream Lake.  I filtered ½ of bottle at the brook. Only 2.2 mi remains.

17:17 the last picture taken with Nikon COOLPIX S9900camera.  Rain started around 17:24 and I begin to put on poncho and rain protection for the backpack. The camera fell out and hit some stones.  I did not pay much attention at the time, but later it turned out that image sensor went out of order, and I would have sent the camera to Nikon for repair ($165).  The rain again.  Five years ago, on the way to Gentian Pond shelter I also got heavy rain about 40 minutes before reaching the shelter.

17:57 I’ve reached the 0.2 mi maker to the shelter. Rain is on.  I am tired, but happy.

18:05 -9.77 miles completed. I am at the shelter.  There is just one other person here at the shelter – a older gentlemen originally from Boston, but currently living in Hawaii. Where all the people?

19:34 -after setting up my stuff for the night, I have a minute to write my notes. Warmth comes from the stove. The only pants I have are wet, and I don’t have the others. I am now 10.5 mi from the road and about 20 mi to go the next road in ME.

And meet the rain again. About 40 minutes before the shelter the rain starts that requires a poncho and a covering for backpack. No people all day, but there’s one older gentleman at the Gentian Pond shelter. 

This shelter – Gentian Pond – is like a room with a view on bank of waterfall, next to the pond. And very warm night is falling.  The only sounds are of falling water and frog songs. Tomorrow forecast is expecting rain all day.  What will I do?

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Navigate through the List

  1. 01 A brief overview of May 2022 AT trip (2023/05/18)
  2. 02 May 26 THU - Ride the bike without the rucksack (2023/05/19)
  3. 03 May 27, FRI - hiking from Gorham, NH to Gentian Pond Shelter - again (2023/05/20)
  4. 04 May 28, SAT - hiking from Gentian Pond to Full Goose Shelter (2023/05/21)
  5. 05 May 29, SUN - Mahoosuc Gorge - miracle of traveling pants (2023/05/22)
  6. 06 May 30, MON - hike over Mahoosuc Arm and Spec to car (2023/05/23)
  7. 07 May 31, TUE - drying out and resting up (2023/05/31)

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