AMC Highland Center 8 mi.
Hiked out of Zealand Falls this morning after breakfast. Ethan was there for 2 miles then of on his own. I’ll see him tomorrow after I do this monster climb out of Crawford notch. I’ll try to get a pic of the mountain when I head back to the trail tomorrow morning…..gulp !! Today was another 8 mi. And 3.5 to the center off the trail. I caught a ride the last 2 miles…Yahoo! We will hike 2200 miles on the trail willingly but not 1/10 off the trail without complaining. If you have never been up this way….get off the couch and visit…even just as a tourist…The beauty can’t be described ! Hiking today was again awesome and other than the pain of climbing uphill for about 4 hrs tomorrow…I expect another incredible day. Pics are of a waterfall again…sorry and me…. You can’t possibly be tired of seeing pics of me….lol
Mizpah Spring Hut… 7 mi
The climb out of Crawford Notch really tough…. 3 mi climb…took me 2 hr. 30 min. I only took 1 wrong turn. The views again were awesome. I did summit 2 mountains today, Webster and Jackson. Tomorrow will be Pierce, Eisenhower, Franklin and Monroe. I’m excited that tomorrow stay will be at Lake of the Clouds… looking at Mt. Washington. Pics today…..Mt. Webster climb. A look at Mt. Washington in the distance and the Mizpah Hut where I will reside this evening.
Lakes of the Clouds…. 8.3 mi
Today was fantastic hiking….it was only 5 mi. to the hut today and since it is the last day of good weather, We decided to hike up and summit Mt. Washington to see it in beautiful blue skies. It isn’t that common to get a day like today! Tomorrow we will hike out in rain gear one again. I can’t complain tho… I got thru the Whites and almost the Presidentials with perfect weather, my guide/hiker/friend Ethan said it doesn’t get any better than that!! The Harley Davidson annual rally was going on in Laconia NH this week and many were at the top of Mt. Washington. Most were stunned to learn that we had hiked here and not rode or drove up…lol. The Cog train was making it’s hourly trek up to the top with loads of people gawking at the animals in hiking gear sweating their way to the top…Do Not Feed The Hikers (animals). A quick side story, My wife and I visited here almost 20 years ago, did the cog tourist thing. When we walked into the summit snack bar I saw this dirty bearded guy with a pack and a bad smell standing next to the door. I commented to my wife, “Why would a bum come all this way??” LOL… Now I am that bum. If I had known he was a thru hiker I would have bought him a meal!!! Pics today…. The summit of Mt. Washington…. The snack bar where the current bum stood… The Cog train… And guess who at the summit!!! Also my new belt holding my pants from falling down!! Update. 30 min after we made it back to Lake of Clouds, he mountain was fogged back in… Happens so quickly, We lucked out (pic attached).
Madison Spring Hut…. 8 mi
With the bad weather forecast today we thought a really early start would be a good choice, So we skipped breakfast and were on the trail by 6:30. We stepped out into moderate rain and possible thunderstorms for later in the day. Fog and clouds were rolling across the mountain tops so we had occasion visibility…. but still had to hike cairn to cairn. The worst part was the winds. We hiked thru 70 mph wind gusts, We were even knocked to the ground by a microburst once. Wee were up and moving then both of us were down hard, unbelievable. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. Several times we just made a tripod stance and tried to ride out the wind gusts until it was almost safe to move again. We rolled in about noon and quite relieved to be able to tell the tale! Tomorrow will be better weather but still could be challenging. No pics today since I had to keep everything buried in my pack to keep it dry, just one of the hut. They look nice but are cold and only provide the bare essentials. No heat, no electricity, no phone service, no showers, just ice cold water. Dinner and breakfast are the same at all huts with minor variations. I’m ready to move on from the hut system. So thankful for my Trail Angel and making it safely thru the Whites and Presidentials. Tomorrow afternoon Ethan and I part company as he heads home to a hot shower and clean clothes. My blog tonight was interrupted by the dinner bell and I have to mention the very proper couple from New England that were aghast and the lack of table manors in the hut. It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. They are bunking above us… They are in for a treat tonight… LOL.