I slept from 9:00 last night to 7:00 this morning, and I slept really well. It was a warm night so it was not hard to get out of my sleeping bag in the morning.
We had all been wondering what Kyle could possibly be carrying in his giant pack the day before, and we found out some of it at breakfast this morning when he started making pancakes and then pulled out a glass jar of honey to top them. The rest of us are pretty lightweight backpackers so it was hilarious to see this totally different style.
After breakfast, we continued north on the Davis Path, this time stopping for the short spur trails to a couple of summits – Mount Davis at 3819′ and Mount Isolation at 4003′, both with excellent views of the Whites.
Next it was time to choose a high option or a low option for the next section. The High Peaks option was originally created after the lower trail was damaged in Hurricane Irene in 2011, but it remains an option despite the lower trails (Isolation Trail/Eisenhower Trail) being open again. We went with the High Peaks option. It was very windy above treeline, but so beautiful. I couldn’t stop taking photos. We took a snack break when we found a windbreak but then continued on Davis Path to Camel Trail to Crawford Path to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. I’d been there a few times before but not in summer weather since my AT thru hike. It was good to be back.
We ate lunch at the hut, chatted with some other hikers, then put our packs back on to head up Mount Monroe. Monroe is just a short distance away, but I’d never gone up it before. I was excited to finally bag this 5372′ peak!
We continued back down to the Crawford Path, going over Mount Franklin at 5001′ along the way. We decided not to do the longer spur trail over Mount Eisenhower but I was fine with that since I’ve summitted it before. From that junction, we hopped on Edmands Path to head downhill.
We were hoping to find camping towards the bottom of Edmands Path since the contour lines on the map indicated it might be a little more level than where we’d been hiking. As we got farther down though, the forest was very dense, not a great sign for camping. My legs were getting very tired with the long downhill and I was worried about where we’d all fit when I got to the very large brook shortly before the Mount Clinton Road trailhead and saw Chuckles’ trekking pole sticking in the ground at a clearly defined side trail. After following it across the brook, we came to a huge, flat campsite. Kyle was already collecting wood for a fire so we all set up and cooked dinner by it before bed. 12.5 miles today.