Mile: 1829.8 - 1850.9 (21.1 miles)
I set an alarm for sunrise and am grouchy when it goes off. But it's gorgeous and cold but not bad all layered up. My tent is covered in condensation but it was worth it.
The trail isn't bad, some rock scrambling but for only a short way. Then it's almost smooth sailing along the ridge line and very short climb to Mt Guyot and then Mt Zealand. The ridge is more exposed and it's hot in the sun, it reminds me a little of the sierras with its slabs of rocks.
The steep descent down to the Zealand Falls hut is slow going but I perk up when some southbounders tell me there's still breakfast leftovers. More beautiful water and then blueberry pancakes. I could get used to this.
The trail after the hut is so nice I keep checking to make sure I'm on the AT. It's almost all flat and free of things to trip on. It's a relief to walk so easy even for just an hour.
Down into Crawford Notch State Park and then it's across railroad tracks and parking lots. The trail is quieter on the other side of the road as it climbs up to Webster Cliffs and then onto Mt Webster and Mt Jackson. I find myself checking to make sure I'm on trail again on the way of Webster. But not because it's smooth sailing, more because there are no blazes and the trail likes to dead end into rock faces. Just a little more climbing than hiking today, bouldering and backpacking are related right? It's actually a lot of fun especially as the higher I go I'm hanging out in the same thermals as crows (ravens?) who are swooping all around.
More clambering up and over rocks and across planks as I get tired and ready for a break. I push to the Mizpah Spring Hut and take a long break. I chat with a southbounder and debate a work for stay but decide to head just a bit farther and catch one more mountain top sunset. They are so rare on this trip that I'm loving the treat.
I turn a corner and have a stare down with something that looks like a weasel, do those exist up here?
I could get used to these sunsets.
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