I want to point out, that I am using version 7.0.10 of Guthook dated November 12, 2018. Instead of having faulty mile ranges throughout the rest of my blog, I intentionally made it so there is only one inaccuracy on day 131. This is due from my switch to a newer phone. Also, I neglected to record the mileage of where I was every night. Instead my mileage had been based on waypoints on the map, such as a shelter, town, viewpoint, stream, etc. On the rare occasion, if I was not be near a waypoint, I simply made a screen shot of my location on Guthook, as you will notice in this blog post as well as possible future ones. That said, the end mileage for the day will differ from the mileage in the screen shots. This will also become more apparent when I reach my destination, Mount Katahdin in this blog. The end of my journey in 2017 the final mileage is 2,189.8, but in 2018 the final mileage is 2,192. Why does the trail mileage change? Usually, from modifications such as switch backs or reroutes.
Woke up to a very beautiful day around 8:30am, got to the top of Mt. Jackson, three miles into my day, and could see my destination of the day, the tallest mountain in the shot, Mount Washington.
At the lowest point coming down from Mt. Jackson, I came across the next hut along the Appalachian Trail, Mizpah Spring Hut. I originally did not plan on staying too long, but the lentil soup they were serving for lunch was delicious! I had three bowls! Reconnected some hikers I had met further south. They said they were doing a flip flop of just the White Mountains due to the fantastic stretch of weather. Supposably, it is a rare occurrence. I do not remember their names, but they were a couple in their 50s. I think their names were optimistic and pessimistic…their names we definitely opposites. By the way, if I came back to visit, this would be the hut I’d stay at. The hut gave off a cabin cozy feel and it is located in a niche of evergreens below tree line.
The next mountain was Mt. Pierce
This was starting to look like the most beautiful stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
The next two mountains before Mt. Washington, Mt. Eisenhower and Mt. Monroe were not part of the trail, which to be frank is weird. Hopefully, in the future, they’ll be re-routed onto the trail.
Next, I reach Lakes of the Clouds Hut…
…where I run into these hikers around my age who were impressed by my feat. One of the hikers said he could not afford it. In reply, I said, maybe not right away, but it is attainable. He then starts to blame his situation. He mentions that he is working in retail and currently paying for his girlfriend’s way through college. I try to convince him he has control over his situation. I say for starters; I personally would not be with someone who doesn’t take ownership for themselves. From there, from my judgement of his relationship, I could tell he took that to heart and was not going to listen to anything else I would say. If I just kept my criticisms to myself, I would have had a better chance to have gotten through to him. As he starts to walk away, I recommend him the book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson, for it would help him a great deal with personal growth. To give a fuck about what really matters. Immediately, from his expression I could tell he thought I was being cheeky, when I genuinely wanted to help. He said he currently had too much on his reading list, likely to deter me. I tell him to download the audio version and listen to it while you’re at the gym, cleaning, or driving. He says nothing and continues to walk away. I then I add that the knowledge is on the table!
An older well-built guy who had been standing by listening in says the reason he feels he cannot change his situation is because his outlook is too narrow. I talk a bit more with this guy, including where I have been + where I plan to go, then completely catches me off guard with the question, “Do you have any business ideas? From your interest in books and direction, you have the outlook of a leader.” In reply, I say I have never thought about it. He then says with an interview, you’d get any job you’d apply for with just a conversation, claiming I have some depth.
Later, as I am climbing the WRONG way up Mt. Washington, I do some introspecting. I have really grown since my last self-reflection and it feels good. I am flattered someone thinks I have depth.
I notice that the trail is heading in the wrong direction, check my map, and I am way off trail. Retracing my steps back, I veered off in the wrong direction after talking to that guy way back at Lakes of the Clouds Hut. I must have gone at least a half of a mile in the wrong direction before realizing something was off. The trail on these balds are marked with Cairns, as well as every other trail up there. To fault of my own though, I missed the junction sign pointing in the clear direction of the trail.
Top of Mt. Washington
The views up there were spectacular! Surprisingly there is quite a bit of stuff packed up on top up there.
There is even a train and a mini-mall up there. Typical tourist trap sort of deal.
Ate here as well until the place closed which was 5pm (I arrived at 4ish). As I watched the last train head down, I realized, that really needed to get a move on.
Climbing down still from Mt. Washington, I ran into an intern from the Mount Washington Observatory. I mentioned I was surprised to see someone out this late up here. He then said, oh I work up at the observatory as a meteorologist intern and then turned the question to me that I was up here as well pretty late. I said that I didn’t realize that tree line would be so far away and that I was probably going to have to night hike. He in turn said that tonight is supposedly going to be one of calmest nights of the year so if you were going to camp up here, tonight’s perfect for it.
I considered it and committed. While it was foolish of me to be in this situation in the first place, especially if the weather had been ordinary (bad), the choice to make camp was a wise one because the following day had been one of the most tedious sections I had hiked through on the trail with zero spots for an emergency stealth. This being said, I thank you intern from the Mount Washington Observatory! You may as well saved my life!
Based on screen shot of my location, it looks like I had camped 191 feet off trail. If I remember correctly, I camped a few feet off the Mt. Clay loop trail, so between that blue and red line where I drew that white oval, between Mt. Washington and Mt. Clay:
On the map I know the top mostly looks like rock and it is, but there were also these patches of heavy thick moss in the grassy areas where I set up my tent. The stakes were pretty much useless, so I had to use rocks to keep them in place. Said and done, this was a comfortable spot. Little windy the next morning, but not anything extreme.
This was by far my favorite night on the trail. As you can see in the top photo, I watched the sun set and probably took more photos that night than any other day on trail.
Put my headlamp in my tent so I could find it for when the sun had gone down. It also looks cool 🤙🏻
Camping on a bald is completely quiet. You can see the roads light up at night but there is no sound. It reminds me of looking out of an airplane window. If I had a better camera you could see the nearby towns light up.
Probably didn’t need to worry, but just in case. 👌🏻