Saturday, August 27 - Day 156 - Mile 1836.0 - Crawford Notch, NH
Up early ( as usual ) at the Galehead Hut. Had a great breakfast of oatmeal and French toast to kick start our day. We met some folks that had stayed the day before with us at the Greenleaf Hut. Most of the talk was about the pending storm and the unprecedented closing of all the Huts and trails until Tuesday.
Buffalo Bobby and I had a long day ahead of us as we had to get to Crawford Notch before the rain came in. This was a hike of 14.7 miles over some tough terrain.
Right out of the Hut we had a very steep rock climb that lasted just over an hour. The report from the Hut Manager was that the trail would get easier after that climb down to the next Hut about 7.5 miles away and then the trail followed an old railroad bed into Crawford Notch. This was a gross understatement. Our hike all the way to the next Hut was up and down rock scrambles at the rate if about 1 mile an hour. Buffalo Bobby was hoping to get a bowl of soup at the Hut for lunch, but the Croo was gone to resupply and just a crowd of day hikers were hanging around eating what leftovers there were.
After a short break at the Hut we started our trek to the Crawford Notch over the alleged abandoned railroad bed. I've walked on abandoned railroad beds and they're flat, wide and a pleasure to walk on. If what we took down to Crawford Notch was an old railroad bed I'll eat my tent including poles. The path was strewn with rocks, roots, bogs and decaying bog boards, steep inclines and dramatic downs. I was very concerned about getting out of the woods in the time frame I wanted. Although this section of trail was not what it was reported to be we were able to make better time then on the first half of the hike and get out of the woods late afternoon. (When am I going to learn not to listen to hikers about trail distances or conditions).
The trailhead at Crawford Notch is in the middle of nowhere and of course no cell service to call a hotel or shuttle. Hitching was our only option. I stuck my thumb out aggressively, as Guardian taught us, and the second vehicle stopped. It was driven by Sean who had his Daughter and dogs in the truck so we threw our packs and selves into the open bed. Shawn and his daughter were riding home after doing some hiking. He gave us each a cold Long Trail beer and took us to a very nice motel in Conroy,NH.
Once again we had good fortune when it was needed and a great place to hang out until the trail opens again on Tuesday.
Well fed and pretty tired from a full day we'll get some sleep without any need to get up in the morning!
Hope everyone rides out the storm OK.
Peace, Love, Joy & Hope,