The end of Franconia Ridge, with Garfield awaiting

Day 3: Galehead

Hiking alone is a different experience. Faster, but not as fun. We were the last ones to leave Greenleaf at 8:30am. I passed the boy scout troop immediately on the way back up Lafayette. (I hate backtracking, but I think that’s the only mandatory backtracking on this trip.) That’s not to say I was going fast, just that the BSA troop was large enough that they made pretty slow progress.

I had my first real snack break (dried mangos) on Garfield Ridge when I met up with Greg and his 12yo son Josh who are on the same itinerary as me through Zealand. Josh is my bud. Then I powered on to Garfield summit, where I had lunch, aired out my socks, and remembered my visit here circa 1995, when it was the final summit of a 20mi. day hike.

A look back at Franconia Ridge from Garfield

I was still feeling good hiking down Garfield, but started losing my gumption on the final mile up to Galehead. But I soldiered on, all the time wondering if Maurice and Emily would already be there. When I arrived at 3:20pm, they told me they had received a radio relay at 3pm saying my fellow travelers wouldn’t be making the trip. Since it was that late, and Maurice and Emily should have made it to Franconia Notch by mid-morning, I suspect they attempted the Galehead Trail but turned back part-way up. Still no word from them.

I gave myself a cloth bath and washed all my clothes, draping them over hot boulders in the sun outside the hut. Greg and Josh arrived less than an hour later. That kid is a speed demon! The boy scouts finally started trickling in right at 6pm, with some not arriving until well after dinner. (The Croo graciously kept dinner warm for these poor kids.)

After dinner we went on a nature walk where we learned about fir waves: the mysterious patches of dead fir trees found frequently in the area. And now to bed, where even the top of a quad-bunk has plenty of foot room. Score!

3 thoughts on “Day 3: Galehead”

  1. Josh sure is your bud…he still talks about you!!! We continue to be grateful for your ever so brief friendship on the trail! Wish we could have stayed together!

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