Day 33

Today’s blog is by our friends Ingrid Geis and Steve Delaney, who bagged Mt. Moosilauke for me today. Mt. Moosilauke is a very tough 4000-footer along the AT in New Hampshire — its name means “high bald place.” I want to thank my friends for hiking for me and for helping to spread the word about ALS. Steve and Ingrid are also contributing our first bear sighting!

Despite not having Rick’s inspiring and Steady presence with us today, we managed to hike the AT up and over Mount Moosilauke. It was a long day, leaving Winchester at 7am and starting up the trail at 10am, after dropping a car on the far side. Don’t tell Rick but we were Sobos for the day (southbounders in thru-hiker language.) Like most thru-hikers, Rick is hiking south to north. But, we chose to hike Moosilauke north to south to spare our knees from having to go down Beaver Brook Trail. Climbing up Beaver Brook Trail was bad enough, like climbing 150 flights of stairs.

But we had a near perfect day, clear skies and in the 70s. We met several thru- and day-hikers along the way and shared Rick’s story with several.  Just as we broke out of the trees onto the Alpine splendor of the summit ridge, we were greeted by a glider plane silently circling the peak. After a nice break in the sunshine and cool breeze of the summit, we headed down the Glencliff Trail which, while steep and rocky in sections, was a far better choice for our descent. The trail eventually changed from New England rocks and roots to relatively flat packed trail and we made pretty good time. About a half-mile from the trailhead where we’d dropped a car earlier in the morning, we were greeted by rustling in the trees just the left of the trail and caught a black bear scrambling down a tree and, thankfully, away from us into the woods. While we found no ready source of gelato at the bottom, Moose Scoops in Warren, New Hampshire proved a more than satisfactory substitute.

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