Worth the Wait, Part III

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:


Anne reaching the summit and encountering a tower for weather instruments.


We spent over four hours descending in a windy world that looked just like this.


The hut at the base of Mt. Madison was our goal for the day. We managed to get this shot just as the clouds broke.


The sunset that night was incredible, although I’m afraid the photo didn’t capture it.


The next day we reached Carter Notch, which houses the final hut along the trail, and marked in our minds the completion of the Whites.


In reality we had several peaks to go, among them Mt. Hight, which had a breathtaking panorama of the Presidentials.


New Hampshire had a few more delights for us, including my first taste of Moxie. Apparently it’s a big deal in New England, but might be an acquired taste. I’m for it!


In the center of this photo there is a Pine Marten climbing a tree. They are cute weasel-like creatures that are considered rare, so we were very lucky to see one.


And the best for last, we were finally rewarded with ripe, wild blueberries, after miles upon miles of green ones.

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About real.pretty.food

After five months of Snickers Bars and couscous, eating all the meat and vegetables I can get my hands on...
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5 Responses to Worth the Wait, Part III

  1. I kinda think that it was fitting that Mt. Washington lived up to it’s reputation. In my mind, climbing Mt. Washington in clear and warm weather would be about the same as going to a ski resort only to find it raining with no snow on the ground. That being said, I wasn’t the one doing the climbing so maybe I’m just full of it.

  2. Glenn in AL says:

    Congratulations on getting through the Whites … and discovering Moxie! Oh, that must have tasted good going down after a long day hiking. If you decide you like it, be sure to pick up a couple of cases while you are there, because they only sell it in New England. Living in Alabama, Moxie is a rare treat for me. FYI, cans retain their carbonation and last the longest.

  3. Misti says:

    We had great weather for all of the Whites except that last bit after the CN shelter. I have no idea what the views were on Mt. Hight because it was foggy and then the rain fell down and the trail became a scooting match so we didn’t slip down the rocks!

    Lucky about the pine marten! Our friend Merf saw one but not us. I’m wondering if you met our SOBO friends Deal and Steadee. They should be in VT now so maybe you passed them a week or two ago.

  4. Battleax says:

    travis, you like deep fried pickles, so moxie isn’t that bad.

    battleax

  5. Sydney says:

    OMFG!!!!!! Pine marten!!!!!!!!!!!!

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