Hiking Trail Journals
Appalachian Trail 2003 -
Entry #132 - September 3, 2003
7:10 PM - The day started out great, but ended
up in the crapper. Well, kind of.
Woke around 6:30 - customary for the "Hut
Life" - and got our stuff together. To our surprise and delight,
once we got outside we could see Mt Washington right above us!
Not really a beautiful mountain with all the buildings & towers
on top of it, but significant nonetheless! Decided to skip the
Hut breakfast and head up to the summit while it was clear. We
were up in no time since it was only 1.4 to the top. It was almost
9 AM, but the gift shop, etc, weren't open yet since it's "off
season." Got our maildrop with our food & checked out
the observation deck. We had a great view of the rest of the Presidential
Range. Around 10 the shops opened and we sent out some postcards & snacked
Around 11 we figured we better get moving since
it was maybe supposed to rain later. What a great morning for our
hike though. Warm, sunny - barely a breeze. On the way down passed
the Cog Railroad and we were disappointed the train wasn't going
by. Thru-Hikers are supposed to moon it, and the conductor throws
coal in response. Oh well.
Somewhere a few miles down (or over, I should
say) the trail turned into rocky hell. We hiked a huge boulder
field for God knows how long & it really slowed us down. Stopped
@ Madison Springs Hut for AYCE baked goods. Yum!! I'm going to
miss these Huts.
The clouds were really starting to roll in then,
which means roll up on the mtns. Went over Mt. Madison and then
it was down more and more and more rocks, 3,000 feet down, to the
Osgood Campsite where we're tenting now. The last 4 or 5 miles
were the worst section of the trail that I can remember. Before
we got below treeline, it was just huge boulders, no cover, atop
a ridge, blowing wind & fog. Worse then any of the Pennsylvania
rocks, I think. It seemed like we went down forever, and my knees
Anyway, we're here now. Below treeline for the
1st. time in 15 miles, I suppose. We even got everything done before
the rain started, and even now it's only sprinkling. Washington
at 6,288 feet is done. We really lucked out with great weather
over the Presidentials, and we're thankful! Not sure what's up
tomorrow. I think it depends on the weather.
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Preparing to Hike
the Appalachian Trail?
Commonly used guides by A.T. thru-hikers
include the Appalachian
Trail Guides (published by the Appalachian Trail
Conference), the Appalachian
Trail Thru-Hiker's Companion, and the Appalachian
Trail Data Book. The guide series includes a guide
for each section, along with a series of trail maps. The
Thru-Hiker's Companion has helpful info on towns, shelters,
and water. The Data Book has basic distance info for road
crossings, shelters, and other features. All are excellent
tools for use during a long distance hike.