LT 2015 Day 3: Lamieoulle River to Taft Lodge

Planned Schedule:
Drop pace back to about 2/3 of what I was planning on doing to get as far as I could comfortably.

Giving up on my pace made for a much more pleasant day.  I still started at the same time because I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in a fairly exposed place right off the trail.  Plus there were a lot of bugs so I was hiding in my bag most of the night.

Dog friend I made on the way

But the road walk to start the day made for a pleasant first couple of miles.  I met a dog along the way who was very interested in me.  He initially ran at me snarling like he was in full attack mode but stopped a couple feet away and just sniffed me.  He followed me for an uncomfortably long time before finally turning back.

View toward Mansfield

The climb up Whiteface was rough on the terrain but pretty short overall.  At the top, I met Pop Tart at Whiteface Shelter.  It was a small beautiful shelter with a great view.  The walk after that was a ski slope hike mostly along the top of the mountain.  I was getting very thirsty and there was little water along the top of the ridge.  So I sanitized some pond water at Sterling Pond which I normally don’t like to draw from.  On the way down that ridge, I met Honeybee and Detroit briefly.  We exchanged details on the water situation on either side of Smuggler’s Notch.  There wasn’t good water at many of the shelters at that time of year.

Wow, there’s some serious soul
searching for a 15 year old

The way up Mansfield was a brutal climb in terms of elevation, but the walk was pretty much just like climbing stairs for most of the way up.  Taft was a cozy yet very large lodge so I settled in for the night but I worried I should have gone a bit further to make it to a decent place for an eventual pickup.  It was a nice night, and I spent the night in my bed listening to some of the other hikers chatting about long-distance hiking in New Zealand.

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