We got a later than planned start on our trip Friday, so didn’t start out on our 51/2 hour drive til almost 8pm! There wasn’t too much traffic, so we cruised pretty fast and stopped somewhere in Connecticut for a late dinner at a random diner with an enormous menu and even bigger desserts!
I had an egg white omelette and resisted the urge fora monster cookie. Joe and I gassed up and got back on the road with some sour patch kids and twizzlers to keep us going.
Around 2am we pulled into a camp site in Nottingham, NH, quickly set up the tent and climbed into our sleeping bags. We had to be up at 6 the next morning, so this was going to be a brief night of sleep, but I was a little freaked out about bears so had a little trouble nodding off.
Next thing I knew, my alarm was going off and it was time to get up. We packed up the tent, did a quick clothing change and teeth brush and were off to Durham to pick up Ryan. After a cup of coffee and some repacking of our gear, the three of us were on the road to the White Mountains.
The weather was a little muggy, but skies looked blue and we set off on the trail up toward the summit of Mt. Adams.
This trail got incredibly steep and eventually we were basically climbing a wall of boulders. And then, the thunder started….followed by pouring rain. We didn’t want to stop and get our rain gear out, so we just kept pushing upward and hoped to dry out when we got to camp. Eventually the rain stopped and the sun came out and the rest of our hike to Grey Knob we were able to dry out a little bit.
We were so excited to see Grey Knob camp and even happier when we found out nobody had come to stay yet! We would have shelter for the night and won’t need to set up the tents! Keep in mind there is no running water, electricity, plumbing etc…
Joe and I had only had a protein bar for breakfast and it was nearly 3pm, so we were BEYOND starving!!! Trail mix and cliff bars all around!
And, planning our route to the summit of Adams after we fueled up.
After about an hour of refueling, resting and planning, we set off for the summit. There were some serious clouds hanging out, so we had some worries about making it before a storm hit.
We kept going a little further, but the loud crack of thunder and a huge lightening bolt that looked WAY too close made us immediately turn around and scurry back to camp. It started raining a bit on the way and just after we got inside it was like a torrential downpour!
We decided to just hunker down for a bit and wait it out. We figured it would pass and there would still be enough daylight to get to the summit and back. Unfortunately it just kept coming down…hard. Eventually we made a decision to just get up early and summit in the morning before coming down the mountain. We played a few rounds of cards and in a slight ease in the rain took a short hike over to a water source. We would need time to purify the water before we could use it for dinner. We filled all of our bottles for the next day and set up the stove to cook dinner. On the menu for me – vegetable pad thai. Joe had a chili mac and Ryan went with bacon cheddar mashed potatoes. You boil water, pour it in the bag, stir, seal the bag and let it sit for about 15 minutes, then eat!
Joe and Ryan were both pleased with their meals (I didn’t try since both had meat), but I wasn’t all that impressed with mine. I’ve had some good meals from these packages, but this one was a little blah. I knew I should have gone with the mac n’ cheese!
After dinner we noticed the rain had stopped, so we all ran to different areas of the woods for teeth brushing and other bathroom needs 😉 then since I could barely keep my eyes open, I declared bed time for all! We went upstairs, climbed into our sleeping bags and I was out like a light!
Next thing I knew birds were chirping and the sun was up…I slept so well! I could see perfect blue skies outside and knew it was going to be a beautiful morning hike to the summit. Joe and Ryan were still asleep, so I got up, dressed and started organizing gear for the day. When the boys got up, we grabbed some cliff bars and set out on the trail.
The first part of the trail was really nice…not too steep and the weather was perfect. Once we got above the tree line, things got much cooler and the wind picked up. But look at these views!
The closer we got to the summit, the more treturous it became…the wind was whipping at about 40mph and you had to do some fancy footwork on the rocks.
Finally we made it to the summit and despite the cold and wind it was absolutely breathtaking! Definitely worth the painful struggle of the previous days walk!
We snapped some pictures and tried not to get blown off the mountain.
We had hoped to summit Mt. Jefferson of Madison as well, but because of the weather delay on Saturday, we had to get back to camp and pack up our stuff to head down the mountain. We will just have to go back another weekend 🙂
Back at camp, we made some oatmeal and repacked all of our gear then planned a new route that we thought wouldn’t be as dangerous to descend as the one we came up. The first mile or so was actually very sketchy and because of the previous days rain, the rocks were mossy and slippery. Joe and Ryan took a couple rough falls, but I managed to stay on two feet….until we got to flat ground near the end of the hike. Then true to form I slide off a rock and fall over! Leave it to me to fall on the easiest walking surfaces!
We saw plenty more beautifully peaceful views on the way down the mountain, but the best sight of all was the jeep in the parking lot! We were completely exhausted. I could not wait to get my boots off, flip flops on, and beer and real food in my belly!
We drove to Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Co.
The menu looked so good! I couldn’t decide what to get! I guess 2 days of nuts, raisins, and cliff bars makes anything sound appealing!
I decided on the crab cake sliders which came with a chipotle aoli, onions and teeny tiny pickles to top. Super yummy. Just the right amount of spice and didn’t taste like they were deep fried. Just breaded and pan seared. mmmmm….
Ryan ordered a massive plate of nachos which came with salsa, guac, and sour cream.
Joe got the hummus and veggie wrap (clearly I am rubbing off on him!) which had roasted peppers and artichokes.
The cajun fries were SO SO good and we managed to eat both plates of them between the three of us! Joe and I both also ordered a Moat Bone Shaker Brown Brown which is described as an English-style brown ale with a biscuit like smoothness, a rich malt body, and medium hop bitterness. It was delicious!
After dinner we got back on the road and finally pulled back into the city just before 1am….totally exhausted and dying for a shower!
It was an incredible weekend and I can’t wait to go back and climb some more of the Presidential Mountains.
Leave a comment if you know the answer: What summits and/or well-known ski ares are in the picture below??