Friday, August 7, 2009

Awesome Trail Magic

8-5-09 day 64
start: Zeacliff, NH
end: Mizpah Hut, NH
daily mileage: 15.3
total mileage: 827.2

Despite our beautiful weather the night before, it clouded up just before sunrise and we missed the hoped-for spectacle. The weather looked like it could go either way. We climbed WAY down off the ridge into Crawford Notch, and hiked about 8 miles over some very uncharacteristically flat, easy terrain for NH (turns out, much of it was once an old railroad bed). Gentle slopes and dirt trails for a few miles were a really nice break from all the rocks and mountains!

When we crossed US 302, we found a former thru-hiker called Rock Dancer giving out trail magic! It was our first trail magic in a while, and it was one of the best we've enjoyed. He had a big cooler with beer, sodas, snacks, and even stuff for sandwiches! Apparently he just sits out there by the trail for days at a time, stealth camping in the woods in the evening, and driving into town when he runs out of supplies to get more! We chatted with him for awhile, and when Rabbit joined us, we found that we'd cleaned him out! We all decided to ride with him into town and grab some snacks. We went to the dollar store, and bought materials for an invention of Sea Monster's (basically a series of mouse traps one clips onto our bear-bags, and which is hilarious) and went to Dairy Queen. We got back on the trail, climbed the beautiful Webster Cliffs, Mt. Webster, and Mt. Jackson. It was a great day - I specifically remember thinking how beautiful the views were.

We were planning on stealth camping but we decided we'd ask at Mizpah Hut anyway, just for laughs. When we got there, there were another 6 thru-hikers already there (and another 4 arrived just shortly after we did), but they were incredibly cool and let us all do work for stays anyway! We enjoyed their food for dinner, and got assigned to do a skit in the morning explaining the 3 Hut Rules to the day hikers (aka Goofers). Awesome!

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