What a great and tiring day. I ended up hiking about 20 miles today. It was about 15 hours of hiking.
I started hiking a Full Goose Pond Shelter, where I spent the previous night.
After getting warmed up, I entered Mahoosuc Notch. It is a deep mile long valley with sheer cliff walls, filled with boulders that were dumped there during the last ice age. The boulders are car and house sized generally. I had to put away my trekking poles, as all hands, feet, the rear and mind were needed to crawl over, around, under, between the boulders along with a few mountaineering/caving moves. It took me about two hours to move a mile here. It was fun, but a slow going challenge. There was still a lot of ice I could see and it was like being in a refrigerator. Some times I was laughing and other times cursing. It was fun though.
After this, I climbed up Mahoosuc Arm. Basically, it’s a super steep and long climb up a almost smooth slab of granite. It was hard work and I felt like I had to lean forward taking baby steps or I would fall backwards down the mountain.
Later in the day, I passed Speck Pond. Would have loved to go for a swim, but did not.
Normally after a day like this I would have set up camp and called it a day. However, today I decided to go big. I kept hiking up and over the Baldplate Mountain and its twin peaks. Shocker, it was steep up and down. The views were great. If it was wet, it would have been a little frightening. On the way down, it was so steep for a while I felt I was on a 3,000 foot cliff.
I got down safely and slowly. I kept hiking wanting to camp near some waterfalls. I thought I could make it just before dark. Turns out, I had to put my headlamp on a night hike. I got to my stealth camp at 9:30 p.m. I was so tired that I just went to bed. It was a long day and maybe my toughest day, but I felt like pushing hard and seeing what I had in me. There is no way I could have hiked what I did today, if I was just starting out. I was thinking positive thoughts all day and about that special someone, that helped me pull out this crazy day!