WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Post trip pose. Nathaniel, Joe and Cameron.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Post-sunset at Lee's Cabin.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - The Aurora Borealis (northen lights) put on an incredible show at Caribou Bluff Cabin around midnight.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Day 9 - Nathaniel approaches Caribou Bluff Cabin.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Windy Gap Cabin.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Windy Gap - Joe returns after a short day trip.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Windy Gap Arch.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Windy Gap Pass. Stopping for a snack and to admire the view.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Nathaniel and Joe.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Colorado Creek Cabin. We go out to take photos in the eveing light and Nathaniel struts his stuff.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Cresting a small pass between Wolf Run Cabin and Colorado Creek Cabin.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Day 5 - Wolf Run Cabin - the next crew (Matt, Erin & Lisa) to stay in this cabin arrives, in part, by dog sled.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Day 5 - Wolf Run Cabin - Our first overcast day. It snowed a few inches overnight. Joe clips into his skis to head to the Colorado Creek Cabin.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Day 4 - Wolf Run Cabin. Nathaniel takes a snow bath.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Day 4 - Wolf Run Cabin. Joe takes a shower.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Wolf Run Cabin. Nathaniel pauses to think amidst his reading on the first of our two rest days.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Snowshoe hare tracks through the burnt trees. Mostly black spruce.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Day 3 - Fossil Gap Trail.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Day 2 - 16 miles. Just over half way and the sun dissapears behind the ridge behind us.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Right by the Borealis-LeFevre Cabin we have to detour around the overflow water that came up and out of the river ice. Getting that water on our skis would ruin the glide and make for a very long day. Pictured: Joe.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Nathaniel on the trail after leaving Eleazar's Cabin. The area is still recovering from the 2004 forest fire.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Morning at Eleazar's Cabin.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - We arrive at Eleazar's Cabin around midnight. While making dinner, a mild aurora borealis (northern lights) showing creeps up on the horizon.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, AK - Joe starts off across the parking lot. We depart the Wickersham Dome trailhead (mile 28 on the Elliott Highway - AK 2) at 6pm to ski 12 miles with about 80 pounds each of gear to haul to Eleazar's Cabin.
MAHOOSUC MOUNTAINS, NH - Bog bridges.
Chrismas Colors starting early.
Finally, we reach the car right around noon. Now, it's back to Altopia for a shower, a soak in the hot tub and a fine salmon dinner. That's livin' the good life.
We have a short stretch along the paved road to get back to where we parked the car, but HARK! Look what is still with us! Yes folks, some of the Appalachian Trail is paved, and the white blaze is here to prove it.
As the slope of the trail peters out, we find ourselves on a wide double track abandoned dirt road the rest of the way out.
On our way down along Peabody Creak this toad tries to hide in the leaf litter on the side of the trail.
Unfortunately some of the bog bridges would sink when you stepped on them, and if you weren't quick you ended up with wet feet... sorry Dawn.
There was still a mist lingering in the woods as we started our last day on the trail.
Another early morning start, although, not quite as early as the day before.
So much for having the place to ourselves. In the end, there were sixteen people crammed into every available space. We were the only non-through-hikers of the lot. All the rest had hiked up here from Georgia. Fortunately it was a very affable group and it was fun to chat to them and to hear their conversations about life on the long trail.
Tonight, a creamy pot of noodles to put a warm sleepy glow in our bellies.
Just as the forecast suggested, the sky continued to thicken up and after we were in bed, a light rain stared to come down. This, by the way, is the view looking out the entrance of the shelter.
Post bath, dressed in dry warm clothes... we were starting to think we had this huge shelter all to ourselves.
All refreshed? Good.
We were pretty hot and sweaty when we rolled in and Gentian Pond at the shelter looked like a refreshing treat. Kenz opted to only go in this far after I went in all the way and found a few leaches on me.
As some clouds started to move in, we opted to get going again, and Dawn opted to tune the world out losing herself in her iPod.
We were a bit ahead of schedule, and instead of spending all of our extra time down in the shelter, we opted for an....oh....three hour nap here in the sun, right on the trail on the summit of Mt. Success.
Nice sign for those going into Maine... New Hampshire needs to get on it and make themselves a welcome sign. Good thing we had a map to know what state we crossed into.
Rt. 2 is where we're going, tomorrow; Springer Mtn. is the start of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia; Hwy 26 is where we started yesterday; and Mt. Katahdin is the north end of the AT. Looks like someone coming up from Georgia counted a few more steps than the person who made this sign.
It's moments like these we're really glad we have little packs.