Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Where IS Karl?
I just got home from my run on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire today. My goal was to run North from the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center and run into Karl on his way south. Let me just say that after spending the day running through the absolutely SOAKED forest, through ankle deep mud, submerged bog bridges.. only to have the sun FINALLY come out (1st time in 8 days)... then for the weather to turn back to rain and thunder... What Karl has accomplished thus far is in my book... BEYOND amazing.
Before I went to bed last night I noticed Karl's Spot Tracker on whereskarl.com had stopped tracking him in Grafton Notch Maine. I knew he had stopped for the night there... he HAD too. What lie south of his location is legendary as the AT's toughest miles. The Mahoosuc Notch Traverse. In here, one must negotiate rocks the size of cars. Take off your gear and push it under rocks, throw it over rocks, lower it down from rocks... and not to mention do the same to your body. At 7:15 last night, he stopped for the day, just short of heading into this little slice of heaven.
I left my house this morning in the middle of yet another driving rain storm. To put it into perspective for some of you not in the area. Since Karl started his run, he has had over 9 inches of rain fall upon him over the course of 8 days. But where the hell is he??!!
I headed north on the AT hoping to catch him. I encountered MANY north bounders who are all sick of the weather. Remember... New Hampshire IS known as The Home of the Worlds Worst Weather and the nickname is living up to its expectations. Its also home to the most rugged portion of the AT. I came across a woman who had broken her arm after slipped off of a bog bridge. Another AT thru hiker had used a book and athletic tape to create a splint. As I made it to Carter Notch Hut.. I walked inside to see a man with a rolled (if not broken ankle) from his decent of the Carter Dome area. The trail, and mother earth, is eating its young up here. Yet... where is Karl?!
As I made my own way up Carter Dome.. I looked west to the Presi range to see the next round of showers and storms rolling in.
Enough for me! I headed for the valley and ran the road to my car. I got in and drove down to Gorham where I found the wonderful Winebago!
I pulled up and rolled down the window to which I asked Karl's Dad "Where the Hell is Karl?!" Ahh... finally I found out where he is.. he was still trying to make his way through the Mahoosucs and Matt hart was with him. Good for them!
9+" of Rain. The most rugged terrain on the trail. The Most Remote terrain on the trail... and Karl will have covered 310 Miles in his first 9 Days. A few things are for sure... Karl's a bit behind but doing well... and he sure as hell SOAKED.
MAP of my Run