Trail Notes – July 31 (Franconia and Garfield Ridges)

Aaaaaand… We are back online!

When we last saw the Ziptie, she was hanging out on a porch at Greenleaf Hut. Dinner leftovers that night were delicious, but I cannot remember what they were. The assigned chore was washing dishes at night and sweeping in the morning. It is amazing how great it felt to do mundane chores! After they turned the lights out at 9:30 pm for quiet time until 6:30 am, me and the other thru-hiker slid the benches in under the tables, and set up our sleeping gear in the dining room. I slept well!

The next morning, we had to have our gear packed up before the crew started setting the tables at 6 am. No problem. The other thru-hiker left early, but I stuck around for leftover pancakes and coffee at 8 am, in the kitchen after all the guests had eaten. Then the sweeping, and then the long, hard climb back up to Mt. Lafayette. It was much easier, going up, and fresh in the morning.

But I still stretched out on the granite for a while at the top.

Mt. Lafayette had several smaller peaks to climb and descend before the Garfield Ridge veered off at a near right angle. It was a consider able psychological relief to get back below tree line. I grew up in the Green Mountains, not the Whites.

Counting the Greenleaf excursion… It was still a short day. But not a cakewalk. Roughly 6 miles; I ended up staying at Garfield Ridge shelter, which is run by the Appalachian Mountain Club, has a caretaker, and costs $10. The caretaker is a musician, brought out her guitar and sang her original hit song about what it meant to caretake at a shelter. All in all, a fun night, with good social interaction! I sheltered up; the recurring problem with all the campsites in the Whites is that they have tent platforms, which do not accommodate non-freestanding tents such as mine easily.

I hiked on.

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