My first summer hike up Mt. Washington

Mid July we found a great little Sunday for my husband, a couple friends and I to hike the big rockpile. We leave our dog Mizpah home for the northern Presidentials. The rocks can be very tough on their pads and joints. I have hiked Mt. Washington in late March before, which was still very wintery. I had never hiked it in the summer.  There are quite a few routes up and down it; people hike it, ski it, drive up it, take ATVs up it (on special days), bike it, take the cog railway, and run it! The weather on Mt. Washington can be some of the worst weather on the planet, and I believe the number of deaths up there is hovering around 150 since 1849. Many deaths have been from hypothermia, and then there are accidents, and of course things like heart attacks. My husband accuses me of putting Washington on a pedestal, but man, it really is something. He is the tallest peak east of the Mississippi River at 6,288 feet (EDIT- this is incorrect and apparently just something I say haha, tallest peak east of the Mississippi is actually Mount Mitchell at 6684 ft in NC).

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One of the trains down at the station. The trailhead for Ammo is up and to the right and the trailhead for Jewell is to the left!
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The tracks! Near the tracks the whole length of the mountain there are chunks of black coal from the train #leavenotrace ?

We took the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail up, and the Jewell Trail down.  Those trails are on the cog railway station side of the mountain. Someday I really want to do the Tuckerman Ravine Trail which is the most popular trail and is on the Pinkham Notch side. There are a few features over there I want to see like the Harvard cabin and the Lunch Rocks. My husband convinced me that a beautiful summer Sunday was not the day to do the most popular trail there 🙂

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Views from a summit are beautiful but I think sights like this are pretty amazing too
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Looks like a great spot for a dip!
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Lakes in the Clouds Hut…..literally in a cloud on this day!
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Misty lakes near the hut
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Another misty lake view, visibility was low!

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The Tip Top House, built as a hotel in 1853 is the oldest structure on Mt. Washington, and might be the oldest mountain top holstery in the world! The last time I was up on top of Mt. Washington in March of 2015, the Tip Top House had snow up the to the top of the windows, you could only see the roof!!

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MWOBS- The Observatory! I would love to stay the night sometime or be a volunteer at the observatory when I retire or something.
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I did have to wait in a short line behind both hikers and people that drove or took the train up. I guess its just part of Mt. Washington’s deal in the summer.
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Walking down the Jewell Trail- the sun came out!
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Great Gulf- formed by a glacier! The lake down there is Spaulding Lake

Mt. Washington is more than just a part of the White Mountain National Forest, its a New Hampshire State Park. In the summer months, summit visitors can check out the Tip Top House which is sorta staged like the hotel it once was, enjoy the amazing views, hit up a gift shop, check out weather exhibits, and get a slice of pizza at the little food court. It was bizarre to say the least. Also, the cell service is amazing up there; I passed no less than 4 hikers on their phones on the Jewell Trail coming down : | It is what it is, Mt. Washington is special and so we all must share it. My memories of being up there in a winter wonderland with maybe 3 other people the last time I was there are now even more precious. It was definitely a long day; cool, raw, and misty to start, and then sun beating on us above treeline coming down. Thats how it is with Washington though, you obsess over the forecast in the days leading up to your hike, but truly you have no idea.

It wasn’t Mt. Washington until the late 1700s. Before then it was known by its Native American name, Agiocochook, which means “Home of the Great Spirit”. This mountain definitely lives up to that name.

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Top 5 Memories of 2015

I can’t believe that 2015 is coming to a close. In some ways, its really no big deal, I just have to remember to write ’16’ when I write out the date. I mean, how do you measure a year? Reminds me of that song from Rent…

Here are my top 5 memories from 2015!

5. Cape Cod getaway- One of my good friends has family on the cape with room to spare, so we headed down on a Wednesday night in August and stayed until Friday. It was so nice to be there during the week, and we managed to do all of our favorite things in that time! We went out to the Woodshed, got lobster rolls at Sesuit Harbor, hung out at the beach, took out our friend’s boat and did some ocean wakeboarding, saw a whale out in the bay, and did some shopping in Chatham.

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4. Memorial Day Trip to Isle of Palms/Charleston- The fiancé, me, and 9 friends rented a house in Isle of Palms for Memorial Day weekend. We were right on the beach, went out in Charleston, and just had the best time goofing around the house. We played an epic country song drinking game, went to a rooftop bar with a pool, and made great memories.

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3. Las Vegas Trip for one of my best friend’s bachelorette and her amazing wedding at the barn where I ride. Two extremely happy weekends with my favorite girls from the barn. We always have such a good time together.

2. Hiking Mt. Washington in March- This year I hiked 22 4000 footers in NH!! We headed up Mt. Washington on a really nice March day. There was no wind, which is crazy for Mt. Washington. It was an amazing hike, a hard hike. Hiking in that area, you always look for Mt. Washington from all the other summits. Finally climbing the summit that I had admired for so long, it was amazing.

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1. Getting engaged on the summit of Mt. Madison- ahhhh how to even put this day into words. My fiances favorite summit is Mt. Madison because you pop out of the woods to the most amazing views of the White Mountains. He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him and I said yes. Annnnd then we had to hike over to Mt. Adams, and hike down. It was  quite a day! Still so happy just thinking about it.

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I hope that you all have a great New Year’s Eve planned, whether its a party or snuggling up on the couch. Thank you to everyone who has followed along this year, I hope that you continue this journey with me into 2016!

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