Now the game begins

Hikers Welcome Hostel, Glencliff, NH, AT NOBO mile 1,786.6, Sunday June 15, 2014 — The dull gray morning mist finally dissolved as the sun stripped away the fog by late afternoon.

The joy of this metamorphosis overwhelmed my soul as I stumbled down the lower shoulder of the mountain on my way to the Hikers Welcome hostel.

Dear sun, It’s been awhile. Thought you might have been a goner. Glad you’re still with us.

Still, the clouds swirled to frame spectacular scenery from the summit of Mt. Cube. Otherwise, there’s just dull green.

Tomorrow this hike gets really real, if it can be put that way. Moosilauke is the first territorial defense the White Mountains mount against intruders from the south. Mordor lies somewhere beyond.

The south side of the mountain is unspectacular. The north side is a hand-over-hand rock scramble up a waterfall. Terrible? Nope. We’re gonna slack pack the whole ten miles and 4,800 ft. That means a light load and a whole lot more agility than normal.

We’ll also reverse course hiking from north to south meaning we get to climb the gawd awful rocks rather than descend. Up is always easier and less hazardous, believe me.

Best of all, the weather forecast is severe clear. (Sunny for Nonaviators.)

Hikers Welcome is a pretty basic facility staffed by some very helpful and friendly folks including a young woman trail named Nectar who I met on my third day hiking in Shenandoah Park, and again in the Smokies. She hails from New Mexico, so imagine my surprise finding her here.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventure. Same time. Same station.






Not a stream. This is the trail!