Free shipping on all orders! (U.S. only)

July 10 2023, Kinsman Notch to Old Colony Ski Club:
There was a flood warning today and Voodoo decided he wanted to get some miles in instead of taking a zero. I was not about it and communicated that I would rather take a zero and hike out the next day, but in the end, I still went against the guidance and tagged along just because he wanted to.
I felt really annoyed that I was going to walk in the rain. I really didn’t resonate with it and even more-so hated the fact that I was apparently doing something I didn’t want to do. I loathed going against what felt good to me, but I had no one else to blame but myself.
Sherpa Mike dropped us off and we started hiking in the cold, pouring rain. We were running up and down the trail, splashing through puddles and slipping on moss covered rocks. It was pretty much the only time I was able to keep up with Voodoo. Normally I needed to take breathers, but I was so cold and wet that I was determined to just go straight through.
I felt such a deep annoyance and anger within, feeling that if Voodoo were to speak one word to me, I would just burst into tears, but I found myself happily surprised when I seemed to laugh, instead. I saw how I was trying to put on a pouty face around him just so I could complain and feel miserable, but I quickly found that I couldn’t even take myself seriously. Within an instant, I was able to see how the anger was just a facade. From that moment on, I embraced the rain/muck and felt excited to hike.
We got to a junction that read there was a road five miles away, so I said, “Your call. I don’t care what we do.”
It took about twenty minutes before he decided he still wanted to hike up the mountain.
About .1 into the climb, he goes, “Fuck that,” then turned around and decided to take the blue blaze.
I started laughing at our ridiculousness.
“Blue blaze for LIFE!” Voodoo yelled.
The trail was even muddier and wet than the AT. We kept getting stuck in what felt like quicksand up to our knees, attempting to pull our legs out of the muck as we came out with piles of mud on top of our shoes.
He looked over through the bushes and goes, “Would you look at that beautiful pond? Aren’t you glad we took the blue blaze?!”
A few moments after that, we began our near death waterfall stream crossings. The first few we assumed were just kind of “for funsies” and then eventually they became tougher and tougher. There was one in particular that had a strong current, the water being a dark shade of mocha. Below was a waterfall with 100’ drop just past that.
At first when I saw it, I said, “No, this is really unsafe. This isn’t smart.”
And then, Voodoo maneuvered his way across. The current was so strong that my legs felt like jello, my body knowing that it would be a fall to my death. There was one rock in the middle that I could step on to hop across the current, however it was slanted and covered in slippery moss that I would have to step on with wet shoes.
Deciding to cross was one of the stupider decisions I had apparently made in all of my hiking moments. When I stepped onto the rock, I naturally went into an extreme lunge. Then, Voodoo made me grab the tip of the trekking pole for balance and I hopped across as he gave me his other hand to grab hold of.
We figured that was the worst of it until we came across another one that appeared to be a strong current river. Voodoo went upstream as he tried to rock hop as best he could, still waist deep in water. It brought me back to crossing Bear Creek on the PCT, where it didn’t look too bad at first glance, but as soon as you were on it, you began to fear for your life.
I contemplated walking back uphill those four miles we just walked, but I crossed, instead. At one point, I nearly froze in place and was unable to do anything but scream at the top of my lungs. I barely made it, the last second nearly losing my balance and flowing my way down the river. Soaking wet and shaking, we promised ourselves to never hike in the rain again, let alone when there was a flash flood warning.
The trail flattened out, we made it down to the road and we hitched into town. We sat under a roof on a bench as we watched the rain and I began shivering from the cold.
Unable to see the joy again, I said to him, “I feel so upset right now.”
I felt such a deep feeling of frustration and felt tempted to blame him for my stress. And so, I did.
“This is why I didn’t want to go out today, because I knew it was going to be like this,” I said in a tone of annoyance, implying that it was his fault.
He goes, “I would do anything right now just to have a hot shower and dry clothing.”
Right in that instant, a woman pulled up and shouted, “Are you guys thru-hiking?”
We both nodded with a sad look on our faces.
“Are you two in need of a hot shower and a warm place to stay?” she asked.
We both nodded in disbelief, as though she was an Angel who was sent to answer our prayers. She turned her car around, we hopped in and she took us straight to her ski lodge. She gave us towels, loaner clothes and we were able to take a hot shower and warm up. She let us lounge around for a few hours as we dried our shoes and socks on the boot dryer. I felt so grateful for her kindness and generosity. We felt so cozy and taken care of. On our way out, she gave me a hug and then we met up with Sherpa Mike at the gas station. He bought us some warm meals and then took us home.