I hit the ground running. I scrambled by day hikers and tourists towards Mt. Washington, holding my nose as I passed. I sat all evening watching Mt. Washington loom of the horizon. It was clear and I wanted to see out into the distance. This mountain is notorious for being in the clouds.
I took a rest at Lake of the Clouds hut, then ran up the mountain. When I got to the top I let out yells of happiness. I set down my pack and frolicked. Yonder and I got some hot chocolates and coffee, then stood in line to take a picture by the sign. All these people took the train up here. I thought I would be grumpy about it, but I felt validated having walked there from Georgia. I didn’t really care how anyone else got there.
I met an older gentleman waiting for the train and he told me that this was the last thing on his bucket list. He wanted to stand on top of Mt. Washington. I told him he’d have to start a new bucket list and he laughed. I really didn’t mind the train, but I still wish that I’d mooned it, even if my white little butt was the only flag flying on trail.
Yonder and I sat on the mountain for too long, then we hit the trail. It very obviously got rugged when a day hiker path split off, the less traveled path was something like rock hopping. Then, when we neared the next shelter, the trail seemed almost paved again.
It was a frustrating day because the AT isn’t marked on this section. I took a lot of weird turns and debated which mountains I wanted to go over as I ran the ridge. Yonder and I ended up getting to Madison hut rather late. We tried to get work for stay, but they were full. The campsite 2 miles downhill was also rumored full, so we had two choices: climb Madison and descend in the dark or climb up above treeline and sleep in the rocks of the saddle.
We climbed up and found a nice boulder to shelter us from the wind. We had a beautiful view of Washington again, but this time it was extremely windy and cold. My tent was threatening breaking from the gusts of wind, and Yonder’s tarp wanted to blow away, so we cowboy camped on the edge of the cliff. Just as it got dark three figures appeared on the boulder above us. Strunky, Crispy and Ropeburn. I was so stoked to see Ropeburn after leaving him months ago at Fontana Dam. It was such a strange reunion.
The guys tried to camp with us, but due to the wind, they hiked out in the dark and had quite an adventure! Throughout the night we saw headlamps on Madison, but thankfully it wasn’t our buddies.
This was taken at the bottom of Madison the next day.
These huts were meant to be emergency shelters. Throughout the White Mountains there have been very few shelters or safe places to camp as a result of the huts being placed at all of the water sources and warm, below tree-line locations. This makes it extremely difficult for thru-hikers. In the Presidential Range I camped two nights at tree line in freezing winds. Both days were considered very good weather.