Back at the Appalachian Trail – Day 5

Up early and on the trail. After a mile, I saw my first moose of the trip. Thus far, the wildlife list includes one moose, two ruffed grouse, two wood thrushes, many unseen birds, two garter snakes, four toads, one gray squirrel, and one shrew. No deer or bears. After passing Harrington Pond, prime moose habitat, the AT turned into a class 3 rock scramble to the top of South Kinsman Mountain. The climb wore me out. On the descent, I met thru hiker Powerball and his friendly black lab, Bella. We hiked together for a time. The AT descended to the Lonesome Lake where I stopped for a break. Patrons pay about $140 for a bunk. Lonesome Lake was the scenic high point of the day. The trail to Franconia Notch was blessedly easy and not too steep or rocky. I crossed under I-93 then walked a mile to the Flume Visitor Center to pick up my foot box. I called Betsy to say hello then walked back to the AT. Upward for with my food-laden pack for 2.7 steep miles gaining 2,500 ft of elevation to the Liberty Springs camp site. Was I glad to be there. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I hiked only 11.5 miles today gaining 5,000 ft of elevation. It shows how hard the hiking is here.

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