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the hike

August 3rd, 2008 (03:33 pm)
Tags: ,

current mood: satisfied

Edited to add: pointer to photos

By the time we finished breakfast, the weather forecast for the mountains included a Hazardous Weather warning, with heavy rain, stream flooding, and thunderstorms. The place we were hiking into was sheltered enough that we didn't think lightning would be a problem, but our nice three-season tent isn't really built for heavy weather and there's a major stream crossing on a trail we weren't familiar with. The bad weather wasn't supposed to start until late afternoon, so we decided to go ahead and do the hike, but the camping was more risk than we were really prepared for.

So while I was driving, Neil called and found us a room at a nice in in Waterville Valley, and we went straight to the trailhead and headed out. It wasn't extremely hot, but very humid, and while the early part of the trail was easy, it quickly got steep and hard and difficult. I didn't make it all the way to the campground. Probably would have if we had been camping, since I would have had a lot more incentive and wouldn't have had to worry about saving energy to get back down the mountain. Even then I had to rest; Neil left me with the Power-ade and some lunch while he went ahead and checked the campsite etc.

By the time he got back, we could hear thunder in the distance, so we hurried out. Three hours and fifteen minutes in, two hours out :) We got rained on at the end anyway, but the thunderstorm missed us.

We drove back down the mountain to our room -- saw a moose crossing the road -- checked in, had a nice hot bath (Neil, sweet spouse that he is, had splurged on a room with a two-person jacuzzi, so we could soak. My poor sore muscles were very grateful.) Then we went out to a well-earned dinner at the Coyote Grill, a very nice restaurant just down the road. Normally we would have walked -- one of the great things about Waterville Valley is that it's very compact and you don't have to drive -- but between my sore feet and the intermittent rain, we decided it would be better to drive. Good thing we did, too -- thunder and lightning moving through the entire time we were at a leisurely dinner. Drove back in heavy rain, went to bed in heavy rain. Rained intermittently all night.

We were wakened a little before one by a loud bang and somebody shouting, "There's a bear out here!" I ran to the window in time to see a shadow running off. It wasn't raining then but it was raining again by morning and looked like it was going to rain for a long time. The rivers were high. We had been planning another day hike before heading home, but we decided to just call it quits.

The weather was better down here, so we did our usual weekend loop around Gates Pond. I'm only mildly dead now, but making supper is going to be an issue...


Posted by: Erin Hartshorn (abennettstrong)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)

Order in for dinner. :-)

The hotel sounds like a good choice-- lightning and thunder and bears? Oh, my!

Posted by: Kati Dalton (marsh_dragon)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)

Hey cool, suucks on the weather though. Your hiking talk has gotten a bug started. Luke and I are going to start hiking. We have a weekend sort of planned already, a two day hike, nothing extreme though. But you never know by the time we leave here we might be spending an entire leave (30 days) hiking the Andes. LOL

Posted by: Kati Dalton (marsh_dragon)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)

er a yeah wrong mountain range! LMAO

Posted by: livingindawnworld.blogspot.com (ext_112677)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)

Safety first -- good call, and you ended up with a nice dinner and hot bath instead of what could have been a nasty camping experience. :)

Posted by: arcticghost (arcticghost)
Posted at: August 4th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)

Sounds like you guys made the right decision, and inn camping is oh, so much fun :) Very cool about seeing the moose and shadow bear! Sounds like the hike was great, though, despite the rain.

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