All beat up from the long miles and hard climbing up Smarts Mountain we started our descent from Smarts quite late and slowly. At Hwy 25 we decided we had enough for the day and ended up staying with trail angels that night and avoided a thunderstorm rolling in. We stayed there together with ‘longwalks‘ and had a little hiker party with some red wine and gear talks.
The next day wasn’t quite more productive (as said 2-day body hangover) and we hiked some easy 10 miles to the Hikers Welcome Hostel. Another slow/short day should give us enough recovery time before the climb up to Mount Moosilauke.
Leaving the hostel full of nice people, a good pancake breakfast, and a movie running wasn’t too easy this morning but eventually, the climb ended up not being too bad. Moosilauke was the first bold mountain I saw on this trip, it was pretty cool and we soaked up the views for a little while. The descent though was wet, steep of course, on slippery rocks, basically the type of terrain that beats up your knees by constant squatting to go down one more step.
We made it to the Eliza Brook shelter, which we had to ourselves that night. Most of the people seemed to slack pack (taking only a daypack) this section from one road to the other. We didn’t plan on doing too many miles this day either and therefore got another late start. Before we made it out of camp we met Simon, another German hiker who attempted a PCT thru-hike this year but stopped at Kennedy Meadows (because of the snow in the High Sierras) and hopped over to the AT, to thru-hike this trail southbound instead.
On the way up to Kinsman peak southbound told us about possible thunderstorms later that day so we ended rather early and decided to hide in a motel in North Woodstock for the night. The gas station there has an amazing deli and served us with a good hiker dinner called burger :).