What a miserable day. We can’t remember ever being so cold for so long. We had planned to leave by 6:00, but it started raining around 4:00 and there was some thunder and lightening, so we waited a bit and left just before 7:00. It continued to rain all day and the temps were quite low. We passed quite a few tents still up in the morning and we were quite jealous of the folks still in their warm sleeping bags. We were walking pretty fast in order to try to warm up ourselves up, but that never seemed to really happen. We got up to the top of Glen Pass, which felt like a long climb. Sweetpea had a real good pace climbing it. Beardoh was cold but not chilled to the bone. Sweetpea immediately put on her long-sleeved shirt, gloves and fleece hat, since she was so cold. We were both wearing only shorts on our legs. Beardoh drank a Blue Moon beer offered by another hiker on the pass. The guy had hidden the beers there three years ago and was just retrieving them today. The beer tasted good and was a nice surprise. The guy with the beer had a thermometer on his watch which read 36 degrees! We could even see the rain turning to sleet and snow on the pass. From up on then pass, we also heard some rock slides. They sounded huge, but when we saw the actual rocks coming down it didn’t look as impressive. A significant rock slide must be very loud.
We didn’t stay long on the pass as we were freezing, so we headed down and got to the junction for the Kearsarge Pass exit to Independence. Beardoh decided to wait for Mace and Mike, so Tom and Sweetpea continued on the trail. We just kept moving the rest of the time, not stopping for food, water, peeing or adjusting clothing layers. Once we started down from Kearsarge Pass, the wind was blowing and we got even colder. With the first site of the road and later the parking lot, we were overjoyed. We were a bit worried about how cold we were, so we were glad the end was coming soon. Luckily, the rest of the guys got down within a few minutes of Tom and Sweetpea and we were able to get a hitch quickly down to town. There were a lot of hikers at the trailhead looking for a ride into town, we were we happy for Mace’s “take charge” attitude in flagging down the first car that came through the parking lot. Felt a little bad for all the others waiting. Most likely they were not as used to hitching and didn’t realize how aggressive one would need to be with the bad weather and fewer day hikers out. Our luck continued as we got the last three rooms in Independence for that night. We were excited to pick up a care package from Phenix at the motel…lots of yummy treats to eat! We headed straight for the shower and then into bed to get warm and eat treats from our care package. Terrible day, but ended on a good note with dinner at Subway.
Daily Miles: 15.5
Total Miles: 190.9