Sunday, September 2, 2007

Update - Gorham, N.H. (Mile 1876.1)

Sunset from Mt. Hight

We had fantastic weather through the White Mountains which is a rare gift. For much of our above-treeline walk we could see to the horizon, including 100 miles to the Atlantic Ocean.

Lakes of the Clouds Hut

The hut system in the Whites was an interesting change of pace for us, although expensive for regular guests. As thru-hikers we were able to do work-for-stay and receive a meal and sleep on the floor in the dining area. We arrived at Lakes of the Clouds Hut about 20 minutes after our hail-storm episode and were grateful to dry out and relax for the night.

Cog Railway

In the morning we summitted Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast. It's reputation as the "worst weather in the world" did not disappoint, as we had visibility of about 25 feet. The much anticipated Cog Railway was an unsusual spectacle as well. Evidently they are now ticketing thru-hikers who try to participate in the long-standing tradition of mooning the passengers.

Climbing Very Slowly Down Madison

We were rewarded with some amazing trail through the Whites, although some was quite treacherous. Our pace averaged between 45 and 60 minutes per mile, which is nearly double what we have been used to hiking. Slippery rocks and steep elevation changes just require much more concentration, careful foot placement and strength.

This evening we are resting in Gorham,NH, only 8 miles from the Maine border. Our friend "Ping" who we haven't seen since NC has opened her house to us while we're here. As planned, we will be joining Sally and Tom in the morning to do some "sherpa-ing" for the border maintenence project in the Mahoosucs. We expect to be continuing on our journey on 9/4 or 9/5.

Big thanks to the people who truly enhanced our experience in this stretch: the Canadian cheese people, Clearwater, Tim and also Marie for the rides at Franconia Notch.

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