Day 2: Gentian Pond to Full Goose Shelter

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The rain that started as we hopped into bed lasted well into the morning. The more it rained the more it began to seep through our tent. Drops of rain would hit the tent sending a drop of moisture flying onto our faces. We know that condensation collects inside this kind of tent but there was just too much water coming this time. Every time a drop would drop, Garbelly would turn his headlamp on and look around. While Milo did not seem to mind too much, the two of us were guaranteed a terrible night’s sleep.

Finally as it began to lighten up outside, we were both awake enough to start making plans on packing up. It was 5:45am, the rain sprinkling now. Our camp neighbors began to sing once again. We begrudgingly starting packing our things, everything was soaked. Our down sleeping bags felt like heavy sacks of cooked oatmeal. “Welcome to the Appalachian Trail,” we both exclaimed.

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It stopped raining as we climbed up, but the trees continued to drip on us. Pine branches weighed down by water brushed us like the mitters of an automatic car wash. As we reached the summit of Mt. Success a fog surrounded us. We threw our rain jackets on and started across the boggy granite trail. This barren mountain felt like another world.

We hiked down wet muddy trail. Taking care with each step. Right before we got to the Maine border, we hit small patches of snow along a mossy corridor. Beams of sunlight shot through the trees, the temperature felt 20 degrees colder here.

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From the border, we saw Tarzan one last time and wished him luck on the rest of his hiking! Critters foot slipped into an ankle deep big right when we took our border photo.

We began our climb up the three peaks of Goose Eye. We had steep uphills with ladders and low key rock climbing. Milo scooted right up. Jump from rock to rock, he loved getting to the top first and then looking down at us, tongue hanging out. Places where the rock faces became too steep to scramble up, the trail builders had placed rebar rungs into the rock. We helped Milo up a couple of the sections, but as he impatiently waited on us a third time, he leaped strait up a sheer rock face leaving our jaws hanging. He did not need us as much as we thought he did. Every now and then, when he knew the trail had more that he could chew off alone, he would wait on us to hoist him up or carry him down the many wooden ladders. 

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The climb down Goose Eye was a tough descent. Muddy trails made it even hairier. We used trees and roots to lower ourselves with a little more control. This section was extremely slow going due to the wet steep rock and demanded everything the rubber soles of our shoes had to offer. 

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We ended staying in the Full Goose Shelter when the sound of getting to camp early sounded better than the alternative. We looked over our maps to weigh our options. There would only be three trail miles to the next campsite. However, one of those miles was the Mahoosuc Notch. This is notoriously the “longest mile of the AT.” We decided to stay in the shelter and save up energy for the next day. We laid out our gear to dry on a platform while we made some dinner. We slept in the shelter which was inhabited by a single section hiker headed south.

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