The Crew in New Hampshire

 

Risk, EllieD, and EagleEye's

White Mountains Hike

A Week in July, 2003

This was a great hike that combined our summer vacation and some section hiking of the Appalachian Trail.  Nearly on the spur of the moment, we took off the 1000 miles from our house to Lincoln NH.  After spending the night near the intersection of I90 and I91, we drove north through the Green Mountains and finally reached the Whites.  After stopping for some maps and advice, we drove to the Laffette parking lot and began a day hike at noon on Tuesday.  Our plan was to hike the loop that included Mt Lincoln and Mt. Laffeyette. 

 


 

EagleEye and EllieD beginning the Water Fall trail..

 


 

If there is any question about why this is called the Waterfall Trail it is soon answered.  This is the first of 3 major falls on the trail.  The weather was hot and we stopped at each of the falls to top off our water. 

 


 

 

To get to the top of Couds Waterfall, the trail went straight up a cascade of boulders.  We did not know it, but much of the trail we would hike for the rest of the week looks a lot like this jumble of big rocks.  Unlike midwest trails, the trails here are often nothing but rocks.  This reminded me of Humback Mountain back in Virginia.

 


 

Nearly to the top of Little Haystack Mountain (Where WaterFall trail takes one) there is a big rock face called Mirror rock.

 


 

 

And then finally, we walked out of the Krumholtz onto the bare rocks at the top of the world.  Eagle Eye had been waiting for us older folks for 20 minutes by the time we walked out.  He was hiding behind a rock and we wondered if he had gotten lost before he reached the top.  But then he popped out!

 


 

 

Just standing up there on Little Haystack makes one feel like the whole earth is below.  It feels good to reach the top. 

 


 

 

EagleEye posed at this big rock between Little Haystack and Mt Lincoln.  Looking out over the valley is the occupation of the hike.  What a misery it would be to climb all this way only to be in the clouds.  We heard several thruhikers (for now we were on the AT) say that this section of the trail was the most breath-taking they had seen since beginning 1800 miles ago.

 


 

 

Making it to the top  of Lincoln, we took a little rest.  EllieD decided to sit down just a hundred yards shy of the summit and fell asleep.  When she woke, she had a sudden feeling of falling with the enormous gulf in front of her.

 


 

 

Looking back toward Haystack from the top of Lincoln, one can see the path snaking right along the top of the ridge.  Those "little" rocks in the foreground are about 40 feet high..

 


 

 

From the top of Lincoln to the top of Laffeyette, EagleEye and I shared carrying a young lady's pack.  EllieD just thought it would be nice to take a little stroll instead of carrying all that weight.  Her pack did weigh in at just over 15 pounds, after all.  Here we finally make the top of  Laffeyete and are less than 30 minutes away from supper in Greenlief Hut a mile down a side trail.

 


 

 

The Hut had space for us and welcome was the food and water. 

 


 

 

At sunset, the lake in front of the hut took on a wonderful set of hues.  The peak of Laffeyette is seen in pinks and purples.

 


 

 EllieD recovering from the day's hike.  A mattress, a pillow, and two square meals all for only $72 for each adult and $48 for a child.  No wonder thruhikers call the group that runs the huts the Appalachian Money Club!   .

 


 

 

We did enjoy breakfast and stayed around for an hour or so to see if the morning rain would end.  It did not and we walked back to our car over a steep and rough path in a continual drizzle and rain .

 


 

 

By the very next day, we had recovered and headed out toward Mt. Washington.  Here we are about half way up the mountain.  We are parked in the lot seen just above EagleEye's head.  .

 


 

 

Once out of the trees, all the top of the Washington complex is rock and fragile plants.  There is little dirt left on the mountain.  The trails are mostly just hopping from one rock to the next..

 


 

 

It becomes obvious why these stone cairns are found every 50-100 feet along the trail.  In thick fog, they are the only evidence that the trail is still here.  On reaching this spot, we have just reached the AT again and are on our way west to Mt. Washington.

 



There is a train in the background in the next picture.  It is the cogtrain that assends the mountain.  We are glad to see it is running, because we intend to ride it back down instead of retracing our steps.


 

 

Looking out over Tuckerman Ravine, the trail skirts the edge of some tall steep areas that would be foolish to try to climb.  Mt. Washington summit is ahead and to the right.  We can't see it because it is in the clouds.


 

 

This little train can be heard before it is seen in the fog.  Here the cog train is making its way back down the mountain.  The trail has just crossed the tracks and since I heard the train coming, thought it a perfect opportunity to take the picture.

 


 

 

And so, finally, we reach the summit and have our picture taken. 

 


 

 

Before the hour is over, the clouds part and we are blessed with some great views from the top of the mountain.  Here, we are resting in front of the Summit House. 

 


 

 

Of course, you do not need to walk up Mt. Washington.  It seems strange to see all these cars parked at the top of the mountain!

 


 

 

And then came our easy little trip down the mountain in a train with exactly one car and an engine built in a sloping way.

 


 

 

The operator up front controls a brake system for the car which goes beyond the braking of the engine in front of us.  Even if the engine goes out of control, we have control of our own brakes.


 


 

 

And reaching the bottom, we take a nice evening dip to wash off the grit of the climb and the coal smoke.

 

 

 

 

We camp the night at a state campground (Dry River) just off the AT.  Eagle Eye peeks from below his hammock/tarp combination.

 


 

 

The next morning we take a little 3 hour stroll up to the tallest waterfall in New Hampshire.  Then we get in the can and head home. 

 


 

 

Getting home is quite an adventure, but for the car pictures that EageEye took of the car rally in Syracuse, well you will have to wait for his production.

 

 

Secretary for the Expedition,

Risk

 

 

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