We woke up to clouds and a strong wind. After packing up our gear, we hiked back to the hut and stopped in to fill up our water and to listen to the weather report. According to the report, the weather was suppose to not be too bad until after 3 pm, then it was suppose to rain with a chance of severe thunderstorms and hail. Tomorrow's weather was very windy and generally nasty. As we set out, the windiest part of the hike was at the base of Mt. Washington. Once we got climbing, it was almost too warm to wear the layers that we put on (rain jacket and long sleeves).
It was not a hard hike to the top of the mountain or a long one. I had the same view that I had on top of the tallest mountain that I climbed in Tennessee. When I got to the top of Washington (the second highest mountain on the AT) the view was nothing but clouds. There was a visitor center on the top of the mountain with a museum, so Max and I paid the 2 dollars per person fee. It was the biggest waste of 4 bucks ever. The museum consisted of just a couple of displays and that was about it. However, we could see on the displays what the view is like without clouds and it did get us out of the wind.
After we had enough of the veiws of clouds, Max and I headed down the mountain to the other side of the Presidential Ridge. It was a beautiful, but rugged hike down. The weather wasn't so bad until we got to Mt. Madison.
Before we climbed Madison, we stopped at the Mt. Madison hut for a bowl of potato soup, and some blueberry coffee bread. A much better use of 2 dollars. After lunch, we did the half mile climb to the top, not too bad. The climb down the other side was very steep. It was very slow and painful on the knees and on my feet, but at least there was a good veiw.
After the long hike down, we arrived at the road to hitch into Gorham, New Hampshire. Within 5 minutes. a man who worked for one of the trail crew camps drove by. He asked if we needed a ride as far as the Washington Auto Road, about 5 miles down the road in the direction we were trying to go but still 5 miles short of the hostel. I asked to make sure which road he mentioned. I don't think he could hear me over the road noise, but after shouting back and forth a few times, he said to "Come on and hop in I will give you a ride all the way into town".
When we arrived at the hostel, we were relieved that the sign outside said vacancy; however, it turned out that someone had stolen the 'no'. It was supposed to say 'no vacancy'. But they were nice and said we could tent there. We were also lucky in that we arrived there at 5:27 pm. They had one last shuttle that went to the Wal-Mart which was 6 miles away at 5:30pm, so we arrived just in time. Max stayed to fill out the papers and I went to buy food.
On the way back, I met a lady named Memories, who was going north. She was hiking from Georgia to Maine, not all on the trail, sometimes when she would get to a road she would take time to explore the local community and to get a feel of what each state is like. After we got back to the hostel, I took my first shower in 13 days. It felt great. Only14 days until we plan to get to Mt. Katahdin!
Stealth Camp Site to the Barn Hostel.