Saturday–September 25, 2021
Location–Cape Moonshine Road (406.9) Northbound to Glencliff Trail Parking (397.3), then back to Hikers Welcome Hostel, Glencliff, John Packrat and Alyson Robblee, Proprietors, Acadicus, Caretaker
All hikers who stayed night-before-last took a zero-mile day yesterday, including Odie and yours truly. Smart decisions! It turned out to be a miserable day, cold rain on and off, very hard at times. The sun tried making a show but got shut down right away by more wind-driven rain. I stayed in my bunk, kept my feet up–content with the circumstance.
This morning, everyone’s raring to go. It’s going to be an absolutely great hiking day. Acadicus gets us loaded and we’re off to the NH-25A trailhead.
Came off the mountain, skipped trail, and now, we’re jumping ahead to hike a few days, awaiting better weather conditions before returning to Franconia Ridge.
We’re greeted first thing by a total mud bog. The rain yesterday is providing the runoff for today, turning the trail into a creek. Odie & Cat Tracks lead out, each choose a different line through it. I try a third. None are good. We slog on.
Climbing some now, the trail becomes passable, and we enjoy striding out and moving for a change. But soon enough, progress becomes slow enough (again) as we’re confronted with the 700-foot climb over Mount Mist. Bailing off the other side, we get a front and center view of the massif that is Mount Moosilauke. Daunting! Oh, but we’ll be climbing its flanks soon enough. One step at a time, old fellow. That’s the ticket!
A fascinating story to tell you ends this hiking day. Yup, just gotta tell you:
We’re at a road crossing, mile or so from day’s end. Big dog sitting the other side of the road, watches us cross–then proceeds to follow us into the woods. I holler at him, and holler some more. Dog pays no-never-mind, just keeps right with us. Time or two he gets close enough for me to give him a healthy whack with my trekking pole. Doesn’t discourage him the least! Just a game–he hangs with us.
At the trailhead parking lot, near Odie’s bus, we get him corralled. There’s a phone number on his collar. His name is Zander. Odie calls the number. Fellow answers–from Florida!
He has a place in the woods, somewhere down near where the trail crosses the road. Decision is for Odie to take Zander back down there and just kick him out!
So, we load Zander in Odie’s bus, and off they go–as Cat Tracks and I hike on another mile or so.
Well, here’s where this story turns goofy! Driving along, Odie passes this kid pushing a dirt bike (off-road-motorcycle). He stops, asks the kid if he needs some help. Kid says he’s out of gas. Odie says he has no gas–but offers to load the kid and his bike and haul them back home.
“Gotta be careful. Got this dog in here. Can’t let him get out.” says Odie. Kid looks in as Odie opens the bus side door. “That’s my dog, Zander, been looking all over for him. Ran out of gas trying to find him.” exclaims the kid.
Odie tells us the story, then describes the look on that kid’s face when he sees his dog, Zander. Ahh, a happy ending–don’t you just love it when the story has a happy ending!
It don’t matter how young you are
or how old you get
or how brittle your bones are
or how leaky your gray cells,
you are still going to flat like a happy ending.