|Dinner with 40-50 of our close friends|
|Our naturalist prepares for her talk|
Our goal for Day Two was to hike back up to Mount Lafayette, then head north along the Garfield Ridge Trail to Galehead Hut. Aside from a rocky 1000 foot ascent at the beginning, the elevation profile looked pretty smooth. But we'd been warned the night before not to underestimate the challenges of this section of trail.
|Sunrise over Mount Lafayette|
|A view back towards Greenleaf Hut|
|Hiking in the clouds|
|Carmel scoots down a section of steep rocks.|
|Yet another dicey section of trail.|
The one significant bump on the topo map for the hike was Mount Garfield. After passing a lovely pond at the base, we inched up a steep climb to the summit. The 360-degree views were totally worth the effort, and the summit was a fine place to take a break.
|Garfield Pond, a lovely sight at 3000+ feet of elevation|
|Carmel takes a break on Mount Garfield. That's Mount Lafayette in the background, with Garfield Ridge extending to the right.|
|Looking south from Mount Garfield towards Franconia Ridge. The foundation is from an old firetower.|
From Mount Garfield, we still had about 3 tough miles to go to Galehead Hut. The combination of tough terrain and climbing meant we got in after 6 PM - dinner time - but the very accommodating crew at the hut was happy to serve us late.
Galehead Hut was quite a different experience from Greenleaf. It's more remote than Greenleaf, and smaller, with a more relaxed vibe than the somewhat frantic environment of Greenleaf. There was plenty of room to stretch out and relax after dinner, and even catch up with some north-bound AT hikers. With less than 400 miles to go, they were anxiously anticipating getting into Maine to finish their journey.
|Traci and Carmel chat with NOBO thru-hikers.|
Next time - I'll talk about the hut experience, and then we get our first taste of bad weather.