Tuesday July 4, 2017
Madison Spring Hut NH 11.8 miles
Total mileage 839
I was up before 4 am. I had to pee, but it was really cold out and I didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag. My bladder had me moving. I could hear PONCHO and IDGIE moving and packing up so I started to get ready so I could be ready to go when they wanted to head out. I wanted to stay with them. It makes me feel safer. This terrian is unbelievable for a thru hike. If I had to do it alone I don’t know if I would continue. There really weren’t any scary areas today, but it was a long difficult day. Just about all of it was above treeline and the rocks were unbelievable! My knees can attest to that.
I climbed Mt Washington today. It is famous for horrible weather. It stands at 6288 feet. With winds recorded at over 200 miles per hour. I road up to the summit in a shuttle a number of years ago and I remember the drive up being really scary. The road was so narrow and the drop off the edge had me leaning in toward the center of the vehicle!
I climbed it today with 50 mph winds and gusts over 60 mph with a wind chill of 29 degrees. I was pretty warm climbing up and was getting wet under my puffy jacket and rain coat. It was a long way up and pretty grueling. Being wet can get pretty dangerous if I was to stop because of hypothermia. Luckily there is a visitor center at the top and I was able to stop in there and dry out a bit before continuing on. I was not so warm on the descent. It was steep and slow going.
We were headed to Madison Hut hoping to get work for stay. Thru hikers can ask for work for stay which means that after the hut guests have eaten we can have the leftovers and sleep on the dining room floor in exchange for doing some work to help the croo (that’s what the staff call themselves). I did dishes with IDGI. The bad thing about work for stay is that you are up late at night. The huts don’t have quiet hours or lights out until 9:30 pm. So we have to wait until the guests clear out of the dining room before we can go to bed.
From my spot on the dining room floor I could look out a window and see some fireworks in a town far below me. So I did get to see some fireworks.