We stayed at the Smarts Mountain Shelter last night, maintained by the Dartmouth Outing Club. It was a high-end shelter because it had four walls and a door, and windows with screens. So we had a good night’s sleep, and the bugs did not bother us. I know Ted wrote the blog yesterday and talked about Smarts Mountain. I want to add a statement about the climb yesterday. It was steep and rocky. We were both exhausted when we finally got to the summit.
We left at 7am today to meet Jay Weed — Batwing — who was going to visit Lou’s bakery in Hanover and then hike up to meet us on the trail. Before we connected with Jay, I fell into a swamp because I could not quite reach across a gap to the single board that served as a bridge. First, my right leg became covered in mud after my foot slipped off the board (my balance is off kilter). My boot was completely submerged, full of water and mud. So then I placed my left foot on a tree root for leverage, but it too slipped. I finally managed to pull myself, boot and all, out of the muck. It was a challenge but ultimately I succeeded. But my boot was full of mud, and my legs were covered in mud.
However, good times lay ahead. Jay reached us after we made it through the swamp. He brought us fresh coffee from Lou’s in Hanover, and he brought us food. I got a blueberry muffin, and we all split a maple-covered donut with bacon (yes, bacon). Batwing is now a superhero because he brought us this unique and wonderful breakfast.
The trail today was a gradual decline down to Jacob’s Brook; we crossed multiple tributaries and muddy stretches. After we crossed the brook, I asked Jay if he had a hose in his yard so I could clean my boots and legs without making his house muddy. He helped me clean up before I got into Ted’s car to come home. This is the first time I’ve ever fallen into a swamp, and hiked out the trail muddy and wet. Hopefully it will be the last.
Thank you to Ted Kellogg and Jay Weed for all they did to help me. We had a good campfire last night, after Ted and I climbed the fire tower on Smarts Mountain summit. It was an excellent hike over two days. New Hampshire is different from Vermont because it is full of granite and tree roots. Tougher to hike.