Day 156 – August 10 – 11.1 miles – Wildcat Stealth Spot to Imp Campsite
Elevation Change: 8802 feet
After eating breakfast and packing up, I ventured back onto the trail to find Stoat. Only a few minutes later, I found him hanging out on Ledge #3. The view across the valley to the Presidential Range was a beautiful sight.
The peaks of the Wildcat Range are simply labeled A through E. Not long after leaving Ledge #3 we came to Wildcat peak E.
Peak E was at the top of a ski slope and had a ski lift.
Off on a little side trail, was a viewing platform that offered views to the east. Off on the horizon was the New Hampshire / Maine border.
Maine. The almost legendary state that all NOBO Thru Hikers hope to reach, was just a day or two away. It almost didn’t seem real.
After leaving Peak E, we went over Peak C and Peak A. On the top of Peak A, was a short side trail that led to a cliff.
From the cliff we had a great view of the next mountains on the other side of Carter Notch.
We could also see the Carter Notch Hut about 1000 feet below us.
From Peak A, the trail descended very steeply, down to the Carter Notch. (About 1000 feet in 0.6 miles)
Once in Carter Notch, we took the side trail to the hut. The side trail took us past two mountain ponds. Across one of the ponds was a woman fly fishing. Surely there were easier places to get to than this to catch fish.
When we got to the hut, the smell of freshly baked bread welcomed us. We quickly made our way inside.
Apart from the caretaker and a hiker named Shoo Bear, who had been hiking with us today, we were the only ones there. We stayed there for a little while and enjoyed the freshly baked bread. It was delicious.
After leaving the Hut, we had another steep climb to hike up.
At the top of the climb we were treated to a wonderful view…of rocks.
We were a little confused as to why the guidebook said there were views on Carter Dome. We took a break at the pile of rocks and then continued on. Pretty much right after we left the rock pile we found the view.
For the next 4.1 miles we were mostly on an exposed ridgeline, with views in all directions. What a great way to spend our last full day in the Whites.
On the final descent to the campsite we were treated to views on Maine off in the distance.
While navigating a particularly steep rock face, I slipped and fell about three feet. I was ok. Nothing was bruised except my ego.
Since the beginning of the trip, Stoat and I had a fall count going. A “fall” meant that the majority of the hikers body was on the ground and there was no chance of recovery. Whoever fell the least by the time it was over, won. When we teamed up with Zeus and Flashfire, they joined the contest as well.
It was my 9th fall of the trip. Stoat was in the mid teens, Zeus was in the high teens, and Flashfire had 5 or 6.
We got to the Imp campsite and setup camp. There were a good amount of hikers there including, Re-wire, his son Outlaw, and a woman named O.M.G.. Also, Irene, the caretaker of the first pay site in the Whites was there.
We joined them and several other hikers as they ate dinner at a view in a clearing in the forest.
It was Re-wires and Outlaws last full day on the trail. I asked Re-wire how he felt about it. He said he had found what he was looking for. He felt the month or so they had spend on the trail was enough time to gain the new perspective he was looking for. He felt he had been successfully “Rewired”.
He really enjoyed getting to spend quality time with his son. He spoke warmly of his wife and how, if he were to plan a long adventure in the future, he would like to have her with him.
Everyone who was sitting there was involved in a conversation or two, but there times when a silence would fall over the crowd. It wasn’t an awkward silence. It would just occur naturally when everyone looked at the view at the same time. That was the real reason we were all out there after all.