May 30, MON – Early start after a cold starry night. The stars are huge and hot, but it was cold at night.
06:08 – first entry – I am still in the hammock, but day promises to be a gorgeous one. I feel an interesting sense of empty tiredness inside.
06:30 – some single hero mosquitoes already appeared, but it is still cold in the air.
07:30 start the hike. Today I am climbing the Mahoosuc Arm (3,765’). It is hard. Everything is harder this time on the trail and on the bike. I am often thinking – What I’ve got myself into? Climb is hard, every step is difficult, but there is a satisfaction to get to the top. I am far enough from the car not to feel the car proximity. So far it is still a normal morning hike with long miles ahead.
08:00 remove the windbreaker. Go up is very hard
08:33 A quick morning routine stop after covering just 0.55 mi. I am at the height 3,150′ and I need to reach 3,765′.
09:43 +15°C I’ve reached the top of Mahoosuc Arm. There is a weak sell signal here. It took me about 2H. Now I will go down to the lake (Speck Pond) and shelter. On the way down I will try a slightly different path via May cut-off. Again, no nice and cozy feeling about possibility of being home this evening. Just one step after another with exploring with eyes, ears, and skin.
|There two (!) bear boxes at the Speck shelter. I guess the fish smell from fishermen is very attractive for the big beasts.||There is an unusual one-flight climbing ladder leading to the top of Speck mountain tower|
10:46 I am at the Spec shelter. Here we see 2 bear boxes and 3 fishermen with lots of gear, inflatable boats, paddles, cookware, sleepwear, tall rubber boots etc. I took me just over 3H to get here from my camp. It means that if I continued the hike yesterday, I would have arrived around 9PM into the dark shelter occupied with 3 people and equipment and fish smell. I was a good thing that I stayed and had a good night sleep by myself by the river. Good. Very good agile decision making.
After a refreshing swim in the pond, I am looking forward to the last climb over Speck Mountain (4,170’).
11:54 – Now there is a sign indicating 4.6 miles to Grafton Notch parking lot. Now it feels more and more like a last day of the trip. The climb will be 1.4 miles. From various vintage points I can see the Speck closer and closer, and it feels more and more exciting. When you reach the bold ledges on the way up, you get wind, you get steep slopes, and you finally get unlimited views for all your hard work before.
12:51 – Finally, I am at the top of the Speck. There is a fire tower here with an unusual straight single-flight ladder. Here, 10-15 yard above ground you still have to fight with the bugs, strong wind and amazingly – no cell signal.
On the way down the mountain, I did find a camping spot from 5 years ago (14:15). Thanks to a Waypoint on iHikeGPS APP, I’ve located an inconspicuous flat spot where I set may hammock July 3-4, 2017. That feels good to be able to join times like this.
14:57 I am taking an Eyebrow side trail that I missed list time. The feeling of closeness heightened when route 26 and even the entire parking lot comes into clear view from the heights.
15:53 – ODO 233.7 – 25°C – merging back with Appalachian Trail at the bottom of the hill and emerging on the parking lot. The car is wating for me here from Thursday. The return to civilization is quick. You change the clothes, you grab warm San Pellegrino from the foam cooler, extract the valet, the keys, and put on some comfortable shoes – and now you feel back to the world again. Where did all the aches and pains of the trail go?
Now about an hour drive to the beginning of the trail – back to NH, to Gorham – about 31 miles. No cell signal at the parking lot as well.
16:49 ODO 274.7 – +28°C – – arrive to a tiny parking lot in Gorham, NH near converted railroad bridge.
17:30 – after about a mile hike on a connector trail and Hogan Road, I am at the target – the very beginning of Mahoosuc trail where the bike is hidden. One more swim in Androscoggin River and ride back to reunite all parts (bike, backpack, and myself) with the car.
18:02 Back at the car. Hooked up my bike to the car. Ready to go home.
20:49 – +26°C – Arrive back home to Boston after 456.5 miles round trip.
Navigate through the List
- 01 A brief overview of May 2022 AT trip (2022/05/25)
- 02 May 26 THU - Ride the bike without the rucksack (2022/05/26)
- 03 May 27, FRI - hiking from Gorham, NH to Gentian Pond Shelter - again (2022/05/27)
- 04 May 28, SAT - hiking from Gentian Pond to Full Goose Shelter (2022/05/28)
- 05 May 29, SUN - Mahoosuc Gorge - miracle of traveling pants (2022/05/29)
- 06 May 30, MON - hike over Mahoosuc Arm and Spec to car (2022/05/30)
- 07 May 31, TUE - drying out and resting up (2022/05/31)
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