LT 2016 Day 1: App Gap to Starks Nest

After my failure to complete the Long Trail the previous two years, I just had a small section left to finish the trail end to end.  This was good because I had a fairly new baby and so didn’t want to leave my partner alone for more than a long weekend.  My sister was thru-hiking the Long Trail so I told her I’d join her for the section that I still had left.

Just to make things interesting, I decided to go up before I met my sister and leave a bottle of beer to celebrate at the top of Stark’s Nest.  That way when we got there on the second night of our hike, I could celebrate on the mountain rather than celebrating at my car before I drove home.

Because I didn’t want to be late to meet my sister and I only had a short hike, I ran up to Stark’s Nest in less than an hour which was a decent pace given the elevation gain.  My legs were so fresh and it was such a nice day that I barely remember the climb.

At the top, I made my way into the Stark’s Nest hut, which is a ski hut at the top of the Mad River Glen.  It was pretty busy in the middle of the day and there were 5-6 people in the hut.  Hunter was one of the more talkative of the hikers I met there and I was feeling talkative so I struck up a conversation with him.  He was a counselor from Manchester and we chatted for a while.  I eventually mentioned that I was hiding a beer at the summit to have when I finished my hike.  He was super jealous of that beer and ruminated about having a cold beer.

For some reason (to have more beer) I had actually brought a few beers up along with the celebration beer.  So I gave him one and it was still ice cold.  I’ve never had some one be more grateful for a beer.  I hid the other two in the forest near the hut.  I literally ran the downhill, I did more than 2 miles in about a half an hour with a lot of elevation loss.

From there, I drove to Otter Creek Brewing to meet my sister.  That night was a bit crazy and involved technically breaking some laws with regards to proper disposal of refrigerator units.  But hanging out with my sister is always a good time.

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