It was another pleasant fall day, with moderate temperatures and intermittent sunshine. I took the opportunity to hike with an old friend, Lelia, and to visit another old friend – the Appalachian Trail on the north side of Moose Mountain.
I remember spending many chilly afternoons in the fall of 1982, scrambling through the Hanover forest with other eager first-year undergraduate students, clearing a new route for the Trail on the steep slopes of Moose Mountain. I learned to fell trees, build sidehill cribbing, and build rock steps from huge boulders using nothing but rock bars, strong arms, and the seemingly limitless enthusiasm of 18-year olds. We were pleased to those steps have held up after nearly 40 years and thousands of thru-hikers.
Somehow we never got around to our annual late-August family backpacking trip. I was determined to get out, anyway, so we took two short trips. On September 30, Andy and John and I headed directly from school to a trailhead on the west side of Moose Mountain. We hiked up to reach the A.T. where it crosses a col between north and south peak, then pulled into the shelter just as it got dark and began to rain. We poked around in the dark looking for the water supply, and settled in just as a huge thunderstorm struck. Nothing like being in an open shelter, on a ridgeline, in a thunderstorm! We had to leave the next morning, skipping our second night out, because John was feeling ill.
Two weeks later, Andy and Mara and I headed for Holts Ledge, hiking up to Trapper John shelter late on Saturday afternoon, with just enough daylight to explore a bit and then settle in. It rained overnight, but the next morning we were able to climb up to Holts Ledge for a view of the fall colors.
I had only my iPhone, and limited light, but took some photos.
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