Mt. Moosilauke is one of the more interesting climbs in the White Mountains. Its bare peak offers magnificent 360 degree views but it's also typically ravaged by powerful winds. My first time summiting Moosilauke greeted me with 40+ mile per hour winds. My second time, during the winter, the winds were similar and visibility was under 50 feet. Staying on the trail was difficult. The tracks from my snowshoes on the way up disappeared before I could make my way back down the trail. This latest hike up Moosilauke was far different. The winds were fairly calm, the sun was out and it was nice and warm. A far cry from the conditions I met up there in the past.
I've done quite a lot more hiking this summer than I expected. Hopefully I'll keep it up so I can knock out more winter ascents of the 4,000 footers this year.
Much like last year's trip to Muscongus bay, we found ourselves wrapped in fog. Having learned valuable lessons from navigating in fog last year, I wasn't worried. Instead I poked around the island on which we had camped and took some photos. It's difficult to capture the stillness that thick fog creates. It dampens and distorts the sounds you usually hear on the water, leaving you disoriented and feeling very alone. A very small islet had started to peak its way through the fog and after only a few minutes disappeared again.
My latest adventure was a paddling trip from Stonington, Maine to Isle au Haut. Isle au Haut contains a large chunk of Acadia National Park but receives far fewer visitors than Mount Desert Island. The only way to get there is by boat and for me, that means paddling. I brought along my friend Dylan. You never know when you'll need someone to fight a shark. In typical fashion I loaded up my boat with camping gear, safety essentials and a select amount of camera gear. Dylan brought along an assortment of knives and booze.
The first day of our trip welcomed us with weather so pleasant that it was boring. This, combined with the hordes of pleasure boaters on the water, had me kind of disappointed. I had hoped for a wilderness adventure. Where was the wind, waves and sense of doom?
Well, the sense of doom came when we got to our campsite for the first night. The other islands that were available for camping were filled with people and we were forced to stay at a place that we were warned not to stay at. It was filled with mosquitos. Dylan said he was bitten through his wetsuit. It was absolutely awful. Only the small space we had chosen to place out tents had any respite from the little bastards. It was so bad that we didn't leave our tents until morning. Except, of course, to pop the bottle of champagne that Dylan brought with him. He filled a dry bag with seawater and ice from a thermos and we enjoyed chilled bubbly the first night.
More to follow.