Back at the Appalachian Trail – Day 11

Up early and out the door at 6:25am. I walked 100 ft to Hwy 16 and got a ride in five minutes from a guy who worked at the Appalachian Mtn Club Visitor Center and Lodge at Pinkham Notch. I started hiking at 6:30am. The 2,400-ft climb started easily but steepened after a mile. Near the top, I passed by the top of the gondola at the Wildcat ski area. Then up and down for several miles followed by a steeper drop to the Carter Notch hut. The hut was situated between two small ponds, one of which had yellow water lilies (see photo). At the hut, I wolfed down several bowls of oatmeal amended with pineapple. After a stiff climb to Carter Dome, the AT bounced up and down gaining and losing 1,500 ft of elevation. The trail was poorly marked (few white blazes) and I was often unsure if I was on the AT. At length, I came to a trail sign for North Carter Mtn. My destination for the day, the Imp shelter, was only 1.9 miles downhill. The descent was taxing due to steep, down climbs, but eventually I reached the turnoff to the shelter. In a few minutes, I dropped my pack at the shelter where I found Rope Burn and Bugs getting water. I fetched water from a spring, had my protein shake, then cooked dinner. I hiked 13.1 miles today in 11 hours. If I can average 12 miles per day for the next 25 days, I'll finish the AT. That seems possible, at least right now.

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