Day 90: Climbing peaks and Counting Crows

Sunday June 9, 21.8mi/35.1km

Lyme-Dorchester Road (1769.3) to Wachipauka Pond (1791.1) (NH)

I got a late start at 8am, and it was already warm. We immediately started UP on some smooth rock.

There were many good view spots today up on the ridge.

Looking south:

And since we were higher up, the pine forests are back!

This view spot gave a preview of the morning’s objective, Smarts Mountain. If you look closely, you can see a firetower on top.

The final climb up to the summit of Smarts mountain was very steep, and some places these “ladders” were installed, basically giant iron staples in the rock.

I made it to the summit at 10am, it was a slow four miles. The firetower was a nice spot to avoid the bugs, since it was windy up there.

We continued on, and a few hours later I stopped for lunch at Hexacuba shelter. Yes, the DOC had built a hexagon shaped shelter… on Cube mountain. It’s wonderfully nerdy!

And the associated toilet had a special name too, the penta-privy. Ha!

While I was there, two hikers arrived. Jim and Eric were out on a dayhike, and were giving out cokes and food to thru hikers! I don’t normally drink pop, but it was a cold refreshing drink on a hot day, and it wasn’t boring ol’ water.

The rest of the climb up to Cube mountain went quickly, and it had nice views all around.

Panorama:

I passed another privy on the way down, this one was even more entertaining than the previous one. It had a logbook, and the comments were just as ridiculous as you’d imagine. And the sign above the door…

I caught up to Bob, and at a road crossing there was a local bar, so we stopped in for a cold drink. We’ll, pitchers of Coors were only $5, so it became multiple drinks, haha.

This bar felt very typically New Hampshire… motorcycles parked out front, car racing on TV, karaoke, and moose on the lawn.

Bob got up on stage and sang “Mr Jones” by Counting Crows. And then another song. And then another…

A couple of nice folks sitting near us bought us a second pitcher of beer, so by the time we finished that, walking on a rocky, rooted trail was trickier than usual. And my photos became blurry too…

We made it to our planned camp spot by a pond at 9pm, just after sunset.

Tomorrow, we enter the White Mountains!

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