Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wow I have been really bad

Hi everyone. I am extraordinarily sorry that I have not updated in so long. I have been moving fast lately and I have been getting further and further from larger towns, the combination of which has led to me not updating in about a year. Unfortunately, this update is not going to get me up to date, as I don't have enough time before I have to get back out on the trail. However, I will let you know where I am now which is Monson, Maine. This means that I am about to enter the 100 mile wilderness and the last 7 days of my trip! Holy crap!
So now to get you guys as updated as I can in about 20 minutes. I think I'll try and get you through the White Mountains which were, incidentally amazing. As you will recall the last I updated I was in Glencliff, NH preparing to go up Mt. Moosilauke with 6 days worth of food. It was rediculously long. The climb was about 5 miles and about 3000 feet if I recall correctly. It was amazing being up above treeline for the first time, I'll grant you but in truth it was too hazy to really have made the climb worth it. I was kind of bummed out, a feeling that was increased by the knee breakingly steep descent down the back side of the mountain. I felt like I ought to have been rapelling instead of hiking. On the other hand Chicken and I did eat lunch by a fantastic waterfall on the way down. Once we got to the bottom of the mountain we had about 7 kind of non-descript miles to go that felt significantly longer than 7 miles. It was a very long day. Just before I got to the shelter that night though I got a brief glance at a moose way back in the underbrush. All I saw was a haunch and a couple of legs, but I could tell it was a BIG animal.
The next day was a vast improvement. We still had a rediculous climb in the morning up over Mt. Kinsman but the view was totally worth it this time. It is up there in my top 3 or so views of the whole trip even at this point. It might even be my favorite. Honestly though part of the reason that day was better is that it was only 9 miles instead of 17. Several of the guys I was with that day needed to go into Lincoln for resupply and once we were in town we just decided to stay there. We were at this awesome free hostel run by a guy named Chet who was severely injured several years ago when his MSR stove blew up. He is now using the settlement money to run this hostel. He was a phenomenally nice guy. Incidentally by now Mystery Chicken and I had started hiking with these guys Widowmaker (who I knew from trail days) and The Beave. Unfortunately, The Beave left us there in Lincoln to go move his home before returning to the trail.
Thus the three of us set out the next morning to head over Mts. Lincoln and Lafayette. Unsurprisingly the climb was insane but again the views were unreal. This was our first extended time above treeline. It went on for probably 5 miles and you could see forever. The other thing is that everything looks closer when there are no trees on anything. Something that is a mile away looks practically next door. That night we did our first evening of work for stay in a White Mountain hut. We had been told it was likely to be a 1/2 hour of some light work and then we would be done. We washed dishes for 4 HOURS! 2 1/2 for dinner and another 1 1/2 before we could leave after breakfast. All three of us were kind of put out. Let me tell you theres nothing I want to do more after a hard days hike than wash a ton of dishes.
The next day we went through what I think is the only flat section in all of the Whites. As a result we amped our mileage to 21 that day, even though we did have to go over one massive peak towards the end of the day. Sorry I never write down the names of the Mtns. However, from that mountain at the end of the day we got our first really good view of Mt. Washington, the worst weather in the world, and it unsurprisingly had its head in the clouds. The sunlight that afternoon was perfect too, which made the view all that much better. We crossed Mt. Washington the next day but I'll have to tell you about that next time.
I'm really sorry about how short this is and that I didn't even get you all the way through the Whites but I really have to go. I have some errands to run before I can hit the trail. This will obviously be the last entry before the end of the trip so the last one is going to be a doozy. I hope that you folks will still be interested. Again I'm really sorry for how unsatisfactory a post this is.

Until next time,
The Breadless Horseman


Anonymous said...

Gordon, your posts are NEVER unsatisfactory! I was so happy to read your account of the trek through the Whites. How utterly amazing that you are headed into the 100 Mile Wilderness and that your father and I will be seeing you at Mt. Katahdin next week! What a rush I get from thinking about that. I am full of pride that you are my son, and I am full of admiration for your grit and attitude. Love, MOM

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I've been following your progress and reporting to Chris and Emily on your amazing trip and important mission. As a result of your efforts, we've become more aware of gluten-free foods and we are so impressed with your incredible journey - as we enjoy your descriptions of each vista that is more breathtaking than the last. You are a great role model. Best wishes on reaching your final destination and your re-entry into the modern world.
The Condlin Family, Baltimore

Lila said...

Boy am I going to miss your comments and sightings and insights. This has been great fun Gordon following you throughout the hike, and your stream of conscience and observations are wonderful entertainment. Just wish I was there...except for the snake den. Not my thing. Your cousin Lila will probably be in W-S to hear some stories the week of Sept 16 as she prepares to go to Africa for 2 years. Hope you wll be here. Enjoy the 100 mile Wilderness, and why does it bear that name?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your amazing endeavor. I imagine you'll be emerging from the 100 mile wilderness any time now. I met your aunt (I think it was your aunt) at your booth at the GIG conference in VA last June. I wanted to connect with your mom (Annie?), but somehow missed her each time I went by the booth. I'm a nutrition therapist who specializes in celiac disease. Just a head's up -- I "tagged" you on my blog (glutenfreeforgood), so if you get some comments from the GF blogging world, that's why. I was hoping to increase awareness of what you're doing. Congratulations. I've followed your progress from day 1.

Beth said...

Hey Gordon,
My parents sent me your info posted in the ODACT newsletter and I have finally now read it and am attempting to contact you. I know you are busy with the trail, but I would love to discuss some of the Gluten Free AT with you.
I am a 24 year old female with a gluten intolerance who is planning on hiking the AT in March 08. I have been racking my brain and coming up with various meals I can cook and dehydrate, as well as compiling a list of sponsors to contact and get some food support from.
In addition though, I would love to hear about what items you may be using, enjoying, and any companies that have been highly supportive.
I look forward to hearing from you and until then...HAPPY TRAILS!