The howling wind kept me up last night and we woke to dense fog and cold. The wind was still there but not as strong. After dragging our feet a bit, we headed up Mount Washington, home of the worst recorded weather in America. We couldn’t see where we were going because of the fog and the wind tried tip knock us off our feet. I was in front and kept stopping to make sure I could still see everyone else. At the top we got pictures and then went into the visitor center to warm up. The wind speed was 33-58mph, the temp was 41F and the wind chill was 29F. But it wasn’t raining!
So, we got no views but we successfully climbed the second highest peak on the AT. 6288″ On the way down it started clearing up and we saw the cog pass by, a train the tourists take to the top.
We continued on through the presidential range. It got really rocky and was rocky for the rest of the day until we started dropping elevation at the very end of the day. A 3000′ drop in elevation. Mt Madison and the rest of the trail until the drop, maybe 2.5 miles on the Osgood trail just kicked my butt. We weren’t even climbing mountains. It was just giant piles of rocks. My feet already hurt, the wind kept trying to push me off balance and my knees and ankles took a heavy beating. Not fun. The views were great but I couldn’t take my eyes off my feet. We didn’t have time to spare because we were trying to get to the Osgood campsite, which turned out to be full and we had to hike on another mile or so in the dark before settling for a fairly okay spot.
Now my dad has pretty much experienced every aspect of the AT: good weather, bad weather, day hiking, night hiking, good days, not so good days, rocks, roots, ups, downs, camaraderie, nero days, resupply, gear swap, trail food, moose sightings and more. What a ride. And he’s still smiling!
We heard a bear before making camp too. It went crashing off into the woods. Carpenter saw it.
Oh, we made a stop at Madison Hut today. Very nice place. Hut water is delicious. We chatted with Bird Legs there and made some food. It’s been a long day but I saw some amazing views.