Friday, August 10, 2012

Parkour mixed with Yoga

Friday, August 3, 2012:

I've continued to check every shelter register for Paul 'Parkside' Bernhardt's entries.  Two recent shelter log books had one significant page missing (torn out) with all others intact - the page where Paul's entry would have appeared.  But today, at the Grafton Notch Register, I found this entry, and I was struck by the truth of Paul's insight, offered just five days before his death.  The tough traverse of Mahoosuc Notch and the steep climb up Mahoosuc Arm are very much an exercise in Parkour mixed with Yoga - concentration and focus is the key to a smooth passage.

I started today at Grafton Notch and headed back south to the east end of Mahoosuc Notch.  That required a 2500 foot climb up over Old Speck (relatively easy trail footing by recent standards), then a descent to Speck Pond and another climb to Mahoosuc Arm's summit before the 1600 foot descent to the entrance to the Notch.

Even after a rest day yesterday, my body felt weak.  It was a struggle all the way south.  Then on my way back, doing the most grueling climb of the day, back up Mahoosuc Arm, I somehow regained my vigor.  I have no explanation for this recovery, except perhaps that I finally got in touch with the Zen of the mountain.  I felt energetic the rest of the way back.  It was twelve hours of hiking, including some great views, and with yet another lesson in the books - taught to me by a deceased 20-year-old thru-hiker.

Here are some of the best views of the day.  The view of Mahoosuc Notch and Mahoosuc Mountain from Mahoosuc Arm wins first prize:

Second comes the look at Speck Pond, described as one of the highest ponds in Maine:

And lastly a look north from Old Speck at the lake country of western Maine:

The repair I made to my shorts yesterday held up perfectly - the shorts are good to go for another 3100 miles, if needed.  If my body also shows the resilience it showed today - tuned in to the vibes sent my way by Paul's log book entry - then I'm good to go as well.


Here's a map with today's hike plotted on it and a link to a bunch of additional photos:

AT Day 194 - Speck Pond at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Maine

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