This past weekend I hiked in to the Carter Notch Hut with my dad, brother-in-law, and a friend. We hiked in along the Nineteen Mike Brook Trail - which is in fact a whole lot less than 19 miles along. It was a nice, chilly morning and we made it to the hut before noon. The photo to the left is right before the hut - it's a tiny pond right at the base of Wildcat A.
The hut was one of the nicer ones I've been to - there were two separate bunk houses, and each bunk house had separate bunk rooms - so we ended up with a bunk room all to ourselves. On the roof of our bunk house was a small deck that could be reached by a ladder, and we spent a lot of time up there admiring the views - that's Mike on the roof in the photo below.
After a break at the hut, we dropped off most of our gear and continued on to Carter Dome - which is actually the peak you can see in the photo of Mike, above. The climb up to Carter Dome was pretty crazy. It was very steep for the first half - almost ridiculously so. Unfortunately, Carter Dome was almost completely wooded on top. Keith and I continued on to Mt. Hight, where the views were amazing. Mt. Hight is bald on top, and we had 360 degree views of the whole area. The photo below is of Keith looking east from Mt. Hight.
Dinner at the hut was phenomenal - although I'd bet anything would taste amazing after hiking all day. They put together a whole turkey dinner, complete with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and dumplings. Fantastic! After dinner we sat on the front porch of our bunk house and chatted with a couple of AT through-hikers. One of them had a ukulele with him! The girl that was with him even started playing the first part of "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes, which is the first song I learned on the uke. She seemed surprised when I recognized it.
Unfortunately, it started raining on us during our hike out on Sunday morning. Luckily it was only a steady drizzle and it never really opened up like it could have. It was nice to get home, though. Between Friday night at the condo and Saturday night at the hut, I probably didn't get more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep combined. I managed to squeeze in a nap once I got home Sunday afternoon, and it felt great. I'd really like to get in a few more good hikes this fall - I really love hiking in that nice cool fall air, especially now that all the bugs seem to be gone.