So, I got to hike Washington again this past weekend. Not that I am complaining in the least. It is a awesome hike, and the weather turned out to be pretty much perfect this time.
Since the last hike went from 8 people to 4 really quick, this was a “make up” hike for those that missed it. You see, Mia was sick with a nasty cold when the first date to hike Washington arrived. Martha didn’t want to hike without Mia, Chuck didn’t want to hike without Martha, etc.
So a new date was picked that would accommodate everyone. We did the same loop as last time too. Ammonoosuc Ravine to Lake of the Clouds Hut, to Washington and back down the Jewell Trail.
This hike consisted this time of Mia, Martha, Chuck, Andy B., Kelly H., and me. Weather forecast was for clearing skies and temps around 60. Winds only in the 5-20mph range compared to the 45mph range we had last time.
So we left Concord at the crack of dawn for the drive up. It went quick and “The Beast” (Martha and Chuck’s Expedition) fit all of us nicely. It was a bit cool in the parking lot. I brought my typical gear for a presidential range hike. Layers, rain jacket, rain pants, etc. Turns out we should have brought sunscreen and a hat to cover from the sun. Seriously, I have never been up here in the summer in such nice conditions. Winter I have had some awesome weather with no winds and sun, but typically my summer luck with this area has been clouds and mist.
It was crazy packed up at the top. Today was also the annual Mt Washington Hill Climb Bike Race. Ned Overend won at 56 years old and Tinker Juarez was 2nd, and he is 50 years old! Way to see the old guys still going strong.
Most of the cyclists had cleared out by the time we got to the top. However, the Cog was still running and now the auto road was officially open for motorized traffic. It got really busy really fast up top.
We stopped for lunch and souvenir shopping and then decided it was time to get moving again. There was easily 200+ people at the top by now. It was getting crowded.
Luckily the sun came out again after some clouds and mist had obscured the top temporarily. Martha said the temp read 66 degrees. That’s pretty warm for Washington.
We had gotten a small gap on Martha and Chuck coming down. We decided to try to regroup once we got into the trees, as the sun was pretty strong and we were all starting to get a little toasty.
I remembered a bridge that was just before the end as a good to place to chill and hang out. We figured we would have to wait 15 minutes or so for Martha and Chuck to catch up. However, after about 20 minutes they still were not there.
Luckily Martha is a texting fanatic and there just happens to be good cell coverage lower down on the trail, it turns out that Martha and Chuck and a group of others came across a guy experiencing a seriously bad case of dehydration. For some reason this guy was hiking with a day pack, one 20 oz. water bottle, and a winter coat.
You see, people under estimate this mountain too much. Sure, it is only 6300 feet high, but it is rugged and it has taken many lives over the years. I think the cafeteria, auto road, cog railroad, etc all lull people into a sense of safety and many of them do this hike under prepared. This guy was dressed for the wrong type of weather and was not carrying enough water.
Luckily Chuck and another guy got this hiker sorted out. They spent a good 30 minutes cooling him down and getting him some water. Chuck carried the guy’s pack down for him too. Everything turned out for the best at the end…well almost…..
We had one minor snag ourselves when we got back to the car. You see, the headlights had been left on in the Expedition, and well, the battery was dead. Luckily (again) Martha and Chuck had made some friends on the way down and they helped us jump start the car. Then we were on our way back to home!
It was a fun hike and a beautiful day. I got to hike with family and friends again and any time to get into the mountains, that is a good day.
thanks for reading!