As you can see from me posting blogs only the following day our cell phone reception is very poor at the moment. Also why I cannot upload photos.
There are only 2 options for overnighting before going over Mt Washington – one is a legit campsite very close to Mizpah hut (one of the expensive AMC run rustic establishments), the other is paying $10 per person to sleep on the floor of the Into the Clouds hut (also AMC run) dining room.
Into the Clouds is the better option as it is getting you much closer (in distance and height) to Mt Washington but it was just too far for us. We arrived at Mizpah around lunch time and estimated we needed another 3 hours to get to Into the Clouds, and there was a chance of thunderstorms. Also, our tent is our sanctuary and a night in our tent would be more restorative than one on the floor of a hut’s dining room. Lastly (but probably the most important factor) we were dead tired (physically and mentally) from the morning’s climb out of Crawford Notch (in bad weather).
So we lounged around the hut for the afternoon. It is amazing how the rules and quality of the huts differ. This one was terrible in two ways. Their proper coffee ($1 a cup) was cold and when we asked if there was a fresh pot we were told to use the hot water (which wasn’t very hot) to make instant coffee! The $2 soup was sold for $4. When I asked the girl working there why it cost 4 instead of 2 she said they share the revenue with AMC and they are all students and try to make more money! I can’t understand how (when our little AMC card says soup for $2) they can just change the pricing – but they did!
The caretaker at the AMC campsite was interesting – I had to go to his tent twice and both times I ended up chatting for 20mins. He has the triple crown (done the AT, PCT and GCD – all 3 long distance hikes in the States), he hikes in the Himalayas every second year and he wants to go hiking in Reunion (no other American we have spoken to about other hikes we have done has ever heard of Reunion). He is a free spirit if I have ever seen one.
Tomorrow will be a long day. We will get going at first light. To get to the next point we can sleep at we have to do 19km. Distance means nothing where we are now, the ascend/descend means more and the terrain means most. Tough kilometers can take 40mins a km. So we don’t quite know how long the 19km will take.
We had signal briefly once this morning, it was cold and raining but we stopped for 5mins so I that I could post my blog (written last night), sent my mom a “we are okay” message and replied to a text we received from Iceman – but then the signal disappeared halfway through our conversation. We didn’t get to any detail but he is coming up and it looks like we will see him on Saturday when we get down to the next trail head after Mt Washington. It is a very very long drive all the way up here so we are in awe of the encouragement and support we are receiving from him and Barb.