Last night we camped at the intersection of the AT with another trail. We were up early and by 6h15 we were walking. After 2km downhill (some of it quite steep) we realised we were on the other trail!!!! Serious egg on our faces, and costly too as we had to walk the 2km (now uphill – some of it quite steep) back, 4km wasted!
We were way too excited about yesterday’s good day, and eager to get today started and over with, to be concerned about the warning signs. We didnt see blazes but the trail isnt well marked in this area so we didnt worry too much about that. We appeared off-trail on Trevor’s mobile app (Guthook) but now and again the app goes haywire and positions one incorrectly so we didnt worry too much about that either. Only when we realised it is unlikely for both of these things to go wrong at the same time we looked in more detail and low and behold, we were off trail.
We thought we could bundu bash our way back to the trail but gave up on that idea quickly. Turned around, walked back, sat down where we started almost an hour and half ago, had an energy bar and restarted the day.
Luckily it was one of those mistake where both parties were equally guilty, if one could be blamed it could have been the start of WW3…..
Today we bagged two more of the 17 over-4000 feet (1291m exactly) peaks we have to get through in the Whites. Kinsman (North and South). We are definitely better at going up than coming down. As yesterday I enjoyed the scrambling. It is exactly the type of hiking I like best – only problem is that I think the fatigue will accumulate doing this day after day and running out of steam will be exponential. Time will tell.
We finished the day, got picked up by the owner of Inn32 (Woodstock North) where we are staying tonight, had a bath (bliss), and took a taxi to Lincoln to visit the outfitter (my socks got holes in again and the outfitter swopped it out as the socks carry a life time guarantee) and the supermarket (food for 5/6 days).
At the supermarket we bumped into a few old friends. A lovely boy called Tin Can who we last saw maybe 4 or 5 weeks ago (he went off trail for a few days to spend time with his sister who is moving to Japan), Steady Eddie (an older guy who we last saw 4 weeks ago, and who was quite fatigued the last time we saw him), and CarryLess (who is a section hiker who was supposed to stop in Hanover but decided he is enjoying it so much he will carry on for another week or two).
Back in Woodstock we dumped our purchases and walked down for a meal. We had a beer at the Woodstock Inn and Brewery and the garden made me wish my mom was here:
Woodstock is very busy – it is summer holiday and this is a holiday destination. For one evening we were just tourists, not thru-hikers.
I am going to see a lot more of the Whites, so far I can say they are indeed beautiful. But I am yet to see a mountain more spectacular than the Drakensberg!