With Irene hovering off the Atlantic coast and us with the cautious watchful eye to see what ultimate path she will take we decided that Friday was a good day for a nice hike. The plan was to travel over to Pinkham Notch in the Green Mountains which serves as a central trailhead for this National Forest. The Appalachian Trail also come through here.
We had originally planned on hiking the trail to the top of Mt Washington while we were here but with the weather taking away a couple of days of sunshine we had to modify our hiking plans. Mt Washington is the tallest peak in New Hampshire and has the reputation of being "Home of the world's worst weather."
At 6,288 feet this mountain is one of the few in the east that will make you think you are out west. So Friday morning we woke up and looked up the weather on top of Mt. Washington. Can you believe the winds on top were blowing at 40+ miles per hour with a wind chill of 37.4 F? So we decided to hike only half the trial to the top to a hut with a lake nearby.
The trail we chose is called Tuckerman’s Ravine trail. The trail goes all the way to the top of the mountain and is about 8.4 miles round trip and you will gain 4,300 feet, a fairly difficult hike. Estimated to take 6.5 hours we planned to only hike about half of it. The hike starts off at fairly gentle climb with good trail conditions but this doesn’t last too long. Before long the trail goes from nice to tortuous with large round loose rocks scattered along the trail. The trail resembles a riverbed more than a trail…
The combination of loose rock, wet conditions and the slope of the trail itself make for very strenuous climbing. Along the way we came across a nicely constructed spur to a gorgeous 100 foot or more waterfall. This majestic falls would be the highlight of the trip up the mountain this day.
We hike along the trail at a slow pace and the trail began to take a toll on us as we were ill prepared for this type of trail. Our tennis shoes were not what was called for for this type of hiking and without walking sticks it was fairly hazardous. So after a couple of miles we decided it best to turn back.
We were probably within a half mile of our target anyhow and the trail was getting worse not better. Shortly after we decided to turn back Sharon slipped and fell… fortunately she only sprained her thumb but it could have been worse. We take note of this and will be more prepared with better footwear before tackling this sort of trial in the future.
So a slow steep two mile decent and we were back at the car. Later that evening we went out in search of the elusive great Northern Moose. There is a road here in northern New Hampshire where sightings of moose are fairly common so we decided to give it a try. After driving about 50 miles along the Androscoggin River on Route 16 we were treated to many scenic vistas and a nice sun set but we saw no moose. We did however, get to see a bald eagle, common loon, osprey and a falcon along with some beautiful country side.
This day was filled with many failures… failure to complete our planned hike and failure to see a moose and failure to stay healthy. But as has been said by many others before us…
…a bad day of RV’ing is still better than a good day of work!!! Hopefully we will have the same to say after Irene passes…