Friday August 07, 2015 Long Trail Section Backpack August 7 by Phyllis RubensteinSince no one signed up to backpack with me starting August 1, I had knocked off the sections from Route 17 to Smuggler's Notch Road as day hikes, mostly in July. On August 7, I returned to the trail at Smuggler's Notch Road. The Elephant's Head Trail, which I had day-hiked years before, was a workout with a fully loaded backpack! I have never been to Sterling Pond in the summer and was so overwhelmed by the crowds that I didn't stop. I enjoyed the views of Mansfield from the warming hut, Madonna and Whiteface Shelter, where I spent a toasty night in my tent. The people who stayed in the shelter were not warm and believed the temperature had dropped to 45 degrees that night. The next day I had a short hike to Route 15, where I got off the trail to spend the night with a friend.