There is nothing like being woken up at 6 in the morning when you spend the whole night tossing and turning. I was grateful to have been inside, although I could have had a sleeping pad that wasn’t shot. We did our morning chores and helped out with the hut crew. After breakfast we set out to climb Mount Washington. Fortunately for us we had great weather, a stark difference compared to the day before. Flailing took off ahead as Earthling and I climbed the one and half mile trail together.
I overestimate ate the temperature quite a bit, forcing me to strip down mid trail and remove my base layers. What a sight to be seen, a thru hiker half naked on the trail changing his clothing, while the other keeps watch for other hikers. After I was no longer sweating my button off with the layers we set back up our doors climb. I thought to myself there was no way that this little hill was Mount Washington, it was an epic climb. This hill before me was just a small climb, the peak must be beyond this false summit in front of me. About halfway up I realized I was mistaken, it was Washington. I had done all the climbing the day before and all that was left was the last bit of the peak, everything had been done in the wind, rain, and clouds earlier.
I never had the miles upon miles of looking at Washington, there was no anticipation, no looking forward to it. I just woke up and was nearly at the top, nothing special. As I climbed the last bit of trail I could feel the wind ripping past me, I knew it would be windy up at the summit and I would have to steady my camera to get good pictures. Snapping a few from the open rocks I walked to the summit sign, atop a rocky platform. Reaching the top, I did what I had promised my friends I would do and cut the line.
Walking up, I was met by an older woman, dressed in her faux fur north face coat and expensive pants. She informed me the was a line and I asked her if she had driven up to the summit as I apologized . She smiled a big toothy smile and replied she had with such pride. I looked straightaway her and said, “Well I walked here from Georgia and I’m going to take my picture before I head back down the trail.” The smile disappeared from her face as the woman behind her informed her I was a thru hiker and that she should take my photo for me. Taking no more than a few seconds I was off again down the rocks, not before helping an elderly couple climb the gravel path to the picture area. The older woman avoided making any and all eye contact as I helped the couple up.
Heading into the cafe I found Earthling and not Flailing, he was no where to be found. I knew he had to be somewhere around the summit, there was no way he was going to miss out on the picture opportunity for Bill and Amy. Finding Flailing outside we took our photos and headed off after lunch. We aimed to climb the rest of the presidentials and make it to the hut for dinner. Getting somewhat creative we took the cog rail down the mountainside until the trail broke away right. Still irritated form the eh day before I took off on my own as the others hiked ahead. Climbing the first blue blaze peak and skipping the second one. By the time I came around the bottom of the second mountain, I was miles ahead of the others. I took my time climbing Mount Adams as I waited for them. In my time alone I made phone calls and caught up on emails while I had a cell signal.
A while later I spotted them on the horizon and signaled for them to go up and that I would meet them on the the other side by the hut. My climb down was quick and smooth over the rock sidewalk as I call it. The trail maintainer had gone to great lengths to make it smooth as best they could. My quick pace was no match for there speed that day, they still beat me to the hut. We found out that there would be no work for food but there was campsite about a half a mile down the trail on the other side of the creek. Setting up we bedded down and went to sleep fairly early. In the morning we would climb Mount Madison and head into town.