Sun, Sept 1
It’s already September 1st! Meeting N&C and cousin Kristy to hike today.
Wake at 6, pack, breakfast in stealth spot near the railroad tracks with Baby Rock and Barefoot. I hike down to the parking lot around 8:15 and wait for in N&C and Kristy. And sit where the AMC shuttle picks up. There are few cars here. Sherpa and his adorable dog named Blue sit near me in the sun. I talked to them for a few minutes. Then Tadpole and Survivor come by. And a bunch of other hikers. It’s sunny. Rooster gets dropped off by a guy in the van from a hostel who hands out gatorades to all of us thru-hikers. Nancy and Charlie and Kristy and her two friends Stella and Eliza pull up. I restock my food quickly before we take off down the trail.
Slow and steady. I jokingly say “who wants to carry my pack” and to my surprise Stella takes it and carries it for me. Thanks for being my pack mule! Great views over Webster and Jackson. At last we make it to Mizpah Hut in the early afternoon and take a break, have a snack, share some ciders, and the others debate whether or not to continue on over Pierce and Eisenhower. In the end they decide to head back down. Bye family! I hang out for a few minutes before hiking off toward Lake of the Clouds Hut with Socks, Tales, Sherpa and Blue.
Beautiful sunny day. Over Pierce and Eisenhower. Around Monroe’s summit. Then Lake of the Clouds around 6:30! All of the work-for-stay positions are taken, so I pay the $10 to sleep on the dining room floor. I make dinner in the “dungeon” (emergency shelter under the hut), change into warm clothes, and admire the sunset. I hang out in the dining hall with the other hikers – Tales, Socks, Supervisor, Tadpole, Survivor, Blue Jay, Daredevil, Balto, Mountain Laurel, Jelly Bean, Sherpa, Lighthouse, Turbo, and maybe more. I bundle up and listen to the history talk outside. It’s chilly. Back inside.
What’s the plan for tomorrow? Should be rainy and windy on Mount Washington which could be dangerous, not to mention uncomfortable. It starts raining around 8. We sit around and talk. We can set up to sleep at 9:30 and it’s a mad dash to blow up air mattresses and lay out sleeping bags. I relocate so Balto and Mountain Laurel can sleep next to each other and get shuffled around a few times before settling in next to Socks. Sleep.