Let the Whites begin

Today is August 1st, a new month on this awesome journey and the beginning of a very exciting section of trail. Let the Whites begin. I left the Hikers Welcome hostel in Glenclif, NH this morning about 6:20am with a wonderful pack weight of only 27.5 pounds. It has only taken me 1790.5 miles to tweek  my gear and get it down to the bare bones. I am so excited to be entering the White Mountains of NH. Most hikers moan and groan about them but to me they are just another way to maker stronger. And if Mother Nature is cooperative, I hear the views are fantastic.

 I have headed off solo today. Several hikers, roughly 85% that stay at this hostel, choose to slack pack over Mousilauke Mountain at 4,802 feet, including my current hiking buddies, Next Year and Seneca. But that requires being dropped off north of the mountain and hiking south. My hike only lets me hike north. As much as I love slack packing I won’t compromise my principles to do it. Wye Knot zeroed here yesterday so he may pass me at some point and possibly meet up at the same coming area. The mountain will probably be very busy with hikers going south today so even though I am solo I am not alone. Next Year and Seneca will do a couple days of slacking and we should meet up in Franconia, NH in a few days when Batman returns. 

8:06 am I have only been hiking for an hour and a half and already on my second break. Hiking alone does have its advantages. Even though I love my hiking buddies, past, present and future, when I hike alone I can do whatever I please. Like right now, I have talked with a crazy squirrel and watched a mouse…… Yikes. That mouse just ran over to my pack. I can’t find it. Hope it went under the leaf liter. Well I should get going, they aren’t going to build an escalator for me while I sit here. 
More to come, my break is over. 

10:30 am summitted Mousilauke Mountain. It could not have been timed more perfectly. About 75 yards out I could see Turbo. He was slacking it southbound with Peacedog. We had a little reunion at the peak. 


Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.