This morning I walked out of the famous, beautiful White Mountains and into Gorham, New Hampshire, just sixteen miles short of the Maine border. This past week of walking the Whites has been a highlight of my hike; though going directly up and down five-thousand-foot peaks day after day has taken a toll on my body. My knees are badly in need of a rest! Some highlights of the Whites were:
– Meeting North Carolina friends Adam and Emily atop Mt. Moosilauke on the first day into the range.
– Climbing the crazy-steep stone staircase up the Kinsman mountains with my friend Amos, then finishing the day at Lonesome Lake hut where we swam in the lake and gave a presentation about thru-hiking to the hut guests.
– Swimming in Jeffer’s Brook, the Saco River, Rattle River, and the pond at Carter Notch Hut. Cold and beautiful mountain water!
– Hiking Franconia Ridge in dense fog and rain with thirty-mile-per-hour cross winds. (I will go back to enjoy those views on some clear day in the future!)
– Watching the skies clear and clouds billow and swirl all around me as I descended from Mt. Madison.
– Really, it was all good–even the hard parts.
My hike is winding down now. I have twenty four days to make it to the base of Kathadin where I will meet Sunshine to hike to the peak together. Lately I’ve been reflecting on how grateful I am for this journey. Grateful that our forbearers put the thought and care into establishing and protecting this trail. Grateful that my body has answered the challenge and carried me this far in strength and good health. Grateful for all of the folks who have helped and supported me along the way and who have followed along with this journey. This has been an exceptional experience. I feel as though I am living one of the truly rich and blessed periods of my life, and with Maine, Kathadin, Sunshine, returning home, and the wedding all to look forward to, it seems to be just getting better and better.
I am concluding my AT video journal here. It only goes to the half-way point of the journey, but I look forward to completing the story in the fall after (Lord willing) I complete the hike. Thank you for following along and for your prayers and well wishes. Happy trails!