Distance: 14.4 miles roundtrip Duration: 12 hours (includes stops along the way and at the summit) My 4000+ Peak #34
Listed 4000+: #47
Difficulty: Moderate – Fricken’ Looooooong!
Number 34 for me! I’ve been wanting to hike “Iso” for a
while but NOT SOLO! So when I got a chance to join Steff, Lisa, Jeanne and
Luann for this hike, I took it. Little did I know that even the “easiest trail”
was going to be a haul-slop-and-slog! 2 miles into this hike I had extreme
cramps in both quads. Over the next 30 minutes dearest Steff pumped me full of
Magnesium pills…10 to be exact. I almost headed back to the trailhead with Steff in tow, but
the cramps subsided and I continued on. So glad I did but geeez, my quads were
mush at the end of this hike. And to add, on our descent I slipped and landed
on my tailbone! (I did get a post-hike, deep
tissue massage and this helped immensely!)
If only this trail were totally dry. A good portion of it was wet,
underwater and/or full of mud. Lots of water crossing…all fun of course, but I lost
count. I got several bug bites and although I didn’t find any on me, Jeanne did
manage to pull a tick off her forehead. I brought 3 liters of fluids and had half
a liter left at the end of the hike. The last hour of our descent we all donned
headlamps. 12 hours on the trail was rough! We headed to The Red Fox Bar & Grille in Jackson
for our post-hike dinner, limping from the car to our seats!
Finally a good (hiking shoe) day! I was waiting for that
window of opportunity to get back out and hike a section of the Appalachian
Trial, and today seemed the perfect day! I received the National Geographic Appalachian Trail Map #1511 (Hanover to Monte Carlo Topographical Map Guide) to review. After looking through the map, I decided on a 9.4 mile hike to the beautiful Thoreau Falls. Two weeks earlier I attempted to hike to Thoreau Falls but 2.5 miles into my hike, the top of my foot started to hurt, so I turned back. A good thing since the
pain became worse and I couldn’t wait to get my boots off once back at my
truck. I carefully took my boots off (with lots of swearing) and threw them in
my backseat (with more swearing). I did
return the boots…Vasque Talus Ultra…to REI. I was disappointed since I really
wanted to like/love these boots. But they really didn’t fit right and I needed
hiking footwear that was much more flexible for my feet. I ended up purchasing
a pair of La Sportiva Ultra Raptors. These mountain runners are a cool bright
blue and with its lightweight, breathable uppers and stick-to-rock-soles, I was
on my way! Yup, happy feet and a great hike! And I just want to give a shout-out to the 4 AT Thru-Hikers I met on my way out; Hey Indiana Jones, Patches, Yoda and Bill Nye...great chatting with you and safe hiking to the Katahdin summit! Enjoy my photos taken along the hike as well as my review of the National Geographic Appalachian Trail Topographic map guide.
Along the Zealand Trail
At the junction of the Ethan Pond and Zealand trails
Here we go along the Appalachian Trail through the Zealand Notch! Wooded Area (7)
Approaching the talus field
The trail comes into the wide opening with spectacular views! Looking (north) back at Zeacliff and Mt. Hale Whitewall Brook
Looking up Whitewall Mountain and its talus field! I loved this section as it reminded me of Canon Mountain and its highly visible talus field from I-93 in the Franconia Notch!
A bit of fun rock scrambling as the trail crosses the talus!
Zeacliff Trail junction
A couple of hikers making their way down the Zeacliff Trail through the notch!
Trail follows a gradual curve out of the notch and into a wooded area
I thought that this section here was the prettiest! (3)
At the Thoreau Falls trail junction
Into the Pemigewasset Wilderness
and the final 0.25 mile to follow the Thoreau Falls Trail to the top of the falls
What a view!
What I like about the Appalachian Trail Topographic Map Guide by National Geographic
- Water resistant, tear resistant and lightweight
- Highlights the Appalachian Trail making it easy/fast to find on the map
- Features resupply locations, key points of interest, safety guidelines, local contact info, area history and more.
- Trail profile at bottom of each page that show distances between shelters, camping areas and trail access points.
- Although held together by two staples, the map does lays flat. Overall, this map is very easy to use and carry. I'll continue to use it for all my day hikes along the Appalachian Trail!
About Appalachian Trail Topographic Map Guides National Geographic’s 13 all-new Appalachian Trail Topographic Map Guides cover the iconic trail mile-by-mile from Georgia to Maine, in a unique booklet format that’s backcountry durable—lightweight, waterproof, and tear-resistant. Printed in the USA, these innovative maps are rapidly becoming essential tools for everyone from day trekkers to thru hikers. Each guide includes detailed topographic maps at a scale of 1 inch = 1 mile, with each page centered on the trail, overlapping with adjacent pages so there is little chance of getting lost. Helpful trail profiles show the distance between shelters, camping areas, and trail access points. The front pages of the guides feature resupply locations, key points of interest, safety guidelines, local contact information, and more. Proceeds from the purchase of a National Geographic map help support the Society’s vital exploration, conservation, scientific research, and education programs.