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Trip 22 Mount Isolation 4003’

14.6 Miles 3250’ Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma

This was the one I finally got us in trouble on. It seemed doomed from the start. When we got to Moose Brook State Park where we set up camp in the rain, I realized I didn’t have my camera. I had totally forgotten it at home. I went to Wal Mart in Gorham and bought a cheap APS camera that takes panoramics and came packaged with its own film. It actually took half decent pictures, and as things turned out, I probably saved myself from destroying another expensive camera by getting it wet. The next morning we woke to a heavy overcast but decided to make the hike anyway, hoping the weather would break later and turn out nice. We trudged in through heavy mist first along the Rocky Branch Trail, then turning north on the Isolation Trail, finally coming to the Davis Path, where we turn back south and begin the relatively easy ascent to the open, rocky summit of Isolation. This of course was completely socked in and the mist was a heavy soaking mist now, just this side of a light rain. Luckily there was no wind as we were woefully unprepared as usual. The trail in had been wet and running like seasonal brooks, and our boots were wet and muddy, though still dry inside. I was slightly better prepared than Jude only in that I didn’t have shorts and had a sweatshirt. Lousy choice in the rain as it will get completely soaked easily and will not hold your body heat well even when you keep moving, but when you stop you will soon be shivering if you're not already. You absolutely must have waterproof gear if you venture into these mountains. We did not, so learn from this. As we left the summit for the seven point three mile hike back out, the heavy mist turned to light rain, and although it was mid-August the cool rain and the cooler mountain temperatures began to cool our body temperatures, too. Even Emma’s thick, seemingly waterproof coat began to look very wet. Now the light rain turned to rain and all hope of staying dry disappeared. The rain was running off of us and down into our boots so even our feet were wet even though we had waterproof boots. Moving as fast as we dared on the wet trail, we finally made it back to the safety of the car. I immediately cranked the heat up and we were soon all right for the time being. It had been a real close one and we both knew it. We were “not out of the woods” yet, though as we were still soaked and had no dry clothes to change to until we got back to the camper. Soaked and exhausted, getting out of the warm car was extremely difficult and sent us both shivering. At this point I realized Jude was in trouble with the onset of hypothermia as I practically had to force her to pull the soaking clothes off her shivering body. She kept assuring me she was alright as her shivering became more violent by the minute, but I finally convinced her to get the wet things off and helped her dry off and get into dry things and straight into the sleeping bag until she stopped shivering. I was not a lot better off, but managed to get out of my wet things and into dry stuff, too. The camper is unheated and had been out in the damp weather all day too, so it took us both a long time to warm up. I don’t remember if we ever cooked any supper or not. A real tough day on the trail. We were real lucky again, and I vow to always carry a pack with rain gear and other essentials for both of us from now on.
K(36) J(27) E(13)
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Isolation 9/2-3/07