Wednesday–September 29, 2021
Location–Viewsite (Stealth Camp – 364.7), then to Galehead Approach Trail (360.1) and down to Gale River trailhead, then to Hikers Welcome Hostel, Glencliff, John Packrat and Alyson Robblee, Proprietors, Acadicus, Caretaker
With the sleeping bag and quilt loaned me by Acadicus (and toted by Odie), which covered me and my 30-degree quilt–and with my little dink tent closed securely, I slept warmly and soundly, though temperature dropped into the 30s.
Odie‘s up and moving before seven this morning, preparing coffee, plus hot oatmeal for me. I’m still working on getting camp struck while Odie & Cat Tracks are ready to head out. We’re finally on trail, but it’s almost eight.
Some mud bogs, a bit of up boulders and down boulders and we’re soon into the 700-foot climb up Mount Garfield. Good fortune is with us again as we reach Garfield summit. The mountaintop is clear as we enter the alpine zone above treeline. Here we’re again above the clouds, but they’re being moved swiftly up the mountain by the steady wind. Gaining the old fire building foundation right on top, we’ve another in-the-ether 360-view. Here is another place in time. Time being not of essence in this place. More remarkable photo ops (hope you enjoy). Then the clouds swirl, engulf us, totally blocking the view, both far and near. We’re so fortunate, again, to have arrived Garfield summit when we did. Another fifteen minutes and we’d not have seen a thing. Just uncanny how our timing has worked so incredibly well–to our advantage.
Only four+ miles of our hike today is on the AT. The other four takes us down the Galehead Hut approach trail, off the ridge and back down to the road. Rain has been in the forecast today, and three miles from day’s end it comes to remain our steady companion. Greenleaf has come to the trailhead to again greet me and spend a bit of time. Decision is: We all head to Woodstock for a cold one–and steaks!
Another very good day! I’m finished with the presidents. Through this incredible gauntlet that is Franconia Ridge, I’ve remained injury-free. A true blessing…
If the timing’s right and the Gods are with you,
something special happens.