This is the final installment of our trials and triumphs in the White Mountains. Our previous post concluded just before our anxiously anticipated ascent of the infamous Mt. Washington. We had been blessed with clear weather before now, but during the night heavy clouds and rain had moved in. It took half the morning to reach the “Lakes of the Clouds,” where there is a hut. We warmed ourselves there with coffee and then pressed on for the last twelve hundred feet of elevation. We were immediately met by strong winds, which propelled sleet and icy rain, as we tried to make our way through the thickest sort of fog. The trail became indistinct on this stretch, as the landscape is made entirely of jumbled, jagged rocks upon which only hardy lichens grow. We made our own path while following rock cairns that are built just close enough together to see in this kind of weather. When we finally reached the summit, we found hordes of tourists who had easily and safely driven up the mountain and were enjoying a gift shop, museum and other attractions. It was a strange experience, but we joined in for some pizza and chili before setting for the descent. Forty to sixty mile per hour gusts nearly sent us scurrying back inside, but powered by bad cafeteria food, we stumbled onwards towards the day’s destination. I’ll let the picture tell the rest of the trip in New Hampshire:
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