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July 9 2023, NH Route 25 to Kinsman Notch:
Voodoo and I got the opportunity to be hosted by a lovely guy named Sherpa Mike. He offered to take us to dinner along with stay in his condo for a few nights since he had a couple of spare bedrooms. He offered to slack-pack us through most of the Whites.
In the morning, we left our packs at Hikers Welcome Hostel and planned on coming back in the afternoon to get our stuff. First part of the trail, we had a crossing at Jeffers Brook, so Voodoo held me in his arms like a baby and brought me over to the other side so I wouldn’t have to get my feet wet.
The weather was ideal for hiking today—cloudy and cool. The mist in the air gave off a refreshing boost for our climb up the mountain. Along the way, we appreciated the intricacy of spiderwebs and the eerie effect the fog gave off. I stopped to take pictures of the peeling bark amongst the tree trunk. In the midst of the white clouds between the life of the trees, we walked, such like explorers of a mystical garden.
I was falling in love with New Hampshire. It gave me glimpses of what Oregon and Washington felt like. By the time we knew it, we were making it above tree line and trekked up into a large clearing of open, spacious views. The clouds were being pushed by the wind, slowly revealing small glimpses of the hilltop views. We hung out on top of My Moosilauke, talked to some day hikers and ate some snacks before heading down.
I grew more appreciation for the AT when the trail provided some higher, open views. It felt like my mind and body could breathe a little bit more. My heart felt more open. My energy felt more relaxed. I felt more at home.
Upon walking down, we saw rolling hills of green and, eventually, cascading waterfalls that slithered their rushing streams as a scenic view beside the trail. We had a steep, slippery climb down—wooden boards were merged into the rocks for a more proper stepping stone.
The last half mile we ran into Sherpa Mike coming up the hill.
“I’m looking for Freyja and Voodoo,” he said with a smile.
We were happy to have hiked without the weight of our packs and looked forward to getting some food. We drove back to pick up our bags, then headed back to his house to shower up. Later, Sherpa Mike took us out to eat at his local restaurant. We got some heavy loaded meals to reboot ourselves before tomorrow’s slack-pack.