I had to wait in town for my rain jacket, I had lent it to Thor at the last hostel and he hadn’t returned it yet. He was suppose to be in town that morning and all I could do was to wait while my friends hiked out. It was so unbelievably frustrating having to wait for a crucial piece of gear. That one item you would need more than any other in the next few days. My rain jacket would protect me from the elements on the open ridge lines and I had to have that back. Without it I could become seriously injured and be susceptible to severe weather.
By noon I was getting worried about them, if they had gotten to town or not. I was anxious to get get out of town and up the mountain my friends were hours ahead a this point. By 2 inthe afternoon they arrived with my jacket and Twiggs and I were soon off and up the road hitching to the trail head. After two hitches and a little detour we were set to go on the trail. Putting our music on we set out individually, my diamond granite legs as Twiggs would call them, carried me up the miles of incline to the water source where we took lunch. I just plugged away one foot at time gaining elevation with ever step. The two of us were tired but feeling good as we finally broke through the trees and saw our first view of the previous mountains. This would be our first of many spectacular views for the day.
Soon after we broke treeline and pushed over the peaks on our way to Lafayette. The Franconian Ridge was breathtaking, we took our time taking in the views and pictures as we walked above the clouds. Each moment felt as if we were on a different planet, the clouds blowing by us, no trees, the sheer ridge line, like a spine on the earth. The rocky terrain, barren stones coated in lichen made the going slick in spots as we crossed up and down over each of the mountain tops. Making our way over the spine, we reveled in each moment, taking each opportunity to see each view change from one to the other. This magical expierence continued all the way to the top of Mount Lafayette.
Cooking our dinner at 5300 ft we talked and discussed what to do for the night. I checked the weather and informed Twiggs that we would not have high winds or severe rain. That was all it took for us to decide to tent above treeline and be one of the few to do it. We knew it was risky and we were prepared to book it down the mile to the hut if it got severe. Setting up we joked about the weather and relished in our day together, the perfect day. I had taken so many ohotow I wondered how I would even hike the next few days in the whites if I was always on the camera. Bedding up for the night, the rain started to come down as we dosed off.