The epic journey of a sibling pair as they trek 2,181 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachia Trail.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mt. Washington

More than 10 years ago, Hansel, Gretel, Two Bad, Mom and I climbed Mt. Washington for the first time.  Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast and it is notorious for its dangerously erratic weather.  When we climbed it, we ascended the mountain in a hail storm and fog so thick we had to hold hands so we wouldn't lose one another.  We would never have known that we had made it to the top if Mom hadn't tripped over the sign.

Now was the time for Hansel and Gretel to battle Mt. Washington for the second time.  Although it is not technically required as part of the Appalachian Trail, they felt they would be remiss if they skipped over this giant of a mountain.  This time, they faced Washington in the rain.  Being that high was quite an experience because there were times when they were not completely in the clouds, but they could see the clouds everywhere else.  In some places they could see where it was raining miles away.  Everything looks blurry in the rainy spots and you can actually see lines in the sky where the rain is streaming down.

At the top of the mountain, Hansel was able to replace his "This Body Climbed Mt. Washington" t-shirt. He was very excited about this, which is a little bit humorous.  Here the kid has hike over 18 hundred miles and summited hundreds of peaks, and yet he is all jazzed up about climbing this one mountain.  Not to belittle the Mt. Washington accomplishment.  It is certainly a very challenging climb and the weather can be quite treacherous.

The rest of the day was also not an easy one.  The rain, as always, made the trail slick.  At one point Hansel took a hard fall, striking his hip on a rock.  It hurt so bad he saw stars when he opened his eyes.  The trail was slow going.  They had plans to go all the way to Pinkham Notch, but when they rolled into Madison Hut at 3:30, they knew they weren't going to be able to pack in the remaining 7-8 miles to get to Pinkham safely.  That messed with their schedule a bit and the rain also put a damper on the day (pun intended), but the staff at Madison Hut lifted their spirits and refueled them for the coming days.

Happy Trails!

Hansel is pointing his pole at Mt. Washington

Gretel is framing Mt. Washington with her poles

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