Puffer shelter to Smuggler’s Notch 12 miles.
Twelve wet miles. All efforts at crafting a strategy to avoid hiking in the rain failed today. We really had few choices. It was sit in a shelter all day or hike. Mostly we tried hiking like hell before the rain was supposed to hit at 10 AM. I was up at 5:30 and hiking by 6:10 AM. We had to go 3 miles before we hit a shelter, where we planned a quick stop/ eat/ water deal at which point we could stay if it was raIning or we could go 3 more miles to Taft Lodge, clearly the best shelter out here on the Long Trail. In retrospect we should have stayed at the first shelter, Taylor Lodge, because the rain started up about a half hour after leaving the place.
Higherst point and then going over an exposed two mile ridge was a challenge, due to the personal discomfort that goes along with hiking in the rain, the strong winds driving the rain, and sweeping sheets of wet across the terrain, and the lubricating properties of the rain on these rocks and boulders, which are everywhere. I am stunned and thankful that I have not fallen yet today. The Weatherman took a bad fall onto his right hip. Lee is unscathed so far. We also had some unique traverses to deal with, the main one being a leap I had to make across a gap on the side of a cliff where you not only had to jump, but then quickly jump onto a safer landing spot to prevent falling a long way.
There were ladders, 6 in total, that were also used to get up on top.
There is nothing more despicable that I deal in hiking than a wet grimy t- shirt.
Right now we are hanging out in the shelter, sleeping wearing warm clothes, and sleeping. Another trail magic deal is coming our way tonight. A section hiker we became friendly and hiked with for the first two weeks- Two Dinnners- has texted Weatherman with a deal to pick the three of us up in Smuggler’s Notch at 6:45 tonight and take care of us for the night. He lives nearby.
When we get picked up tonight , we are going to be stinking wet, grimy, and muddy and every thing we touch is going to be gross.
A good day is predicted for tomorrow and then there’s this nature anger called Irene that is scheduled to cause us considerably more precipitation on Sunday. Aaugh!
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