Day Three: Lakes of the Clouds Hut to Mizpah Hut
As planned the duo skipped breakfast opting for an earlier start. Late into the prior evening, Jeffrey and Mike exchanged a number of texts discussing the matter, considering the option of bailing versus pressing on to the Mizpah Hut (3800’/1158m), next. It was tempting to throw in the towel, have a fine meal and warm bed in town, then hike somewhere else the next day, but they decided instead to press on as planned climbing over Mt Monroe making their way toward Little Monroe, Franklin, then finally the junction with Edmand’s Path immediately before the rise of the Mt Eisenhower summit (4760’/1451m) dome.
Once they arrived at the junction they would reavaluate not only the weather, but because since day two Florian had been dealing with minor knee pain, the health and overall fitness of the team. They had objectives, they had a plan, but as Mike and Jeffrey left it with their final texts, Jeffrey would ultimately make the decision based on the team’s health and safety.
As it turned out, the early start helped. The weather, while terrible, never got quite as bad as was forecast and Florian’s knee pain stayed in check so after due consideration at the Edmand’s Path junction, they decided to press on toward Mt Pierce (4312’/1314m) where after they’d drop back below treeline and make their way to the final Hut of the trip. Where once again they would find a warm, dry welcome. And dry was a desired thing as it had started pouring between Franklin and Eisenhower. A “driving rain” was the adjective Jeffrey used in his report and they had gotten wet in the process.
Unlike the previous nights, this Hut was virtually empty what with only nineteen brave guests instead of the usual masses. The nasty weather prompted many who had reservations at the Hut to wisely cancel their plans. After arrival Jeffrey and Florian changed into dry clothes and had some hot soup before unwinding and later enjoying another fine meal along with a private bunkroom for the night thanks to all the missing guests. A bad weather bonus for the few and the brave!
Approximate totals for day three…
- Distance hiked: 7.6mi/12.2km
- Elevation gained: 672’/205m
Day Four: Mizpah Hut to the Highland Center
As the storm raged around them most of the night, the nearby crack of thunder and lightning in the night sky, they slept peacefully despite it all taking comfort in knowing that they were safe and sound in the sturdy building. By morning the storm had passed and while it wasn’t as nice a day as day two, it was much better than the previous afternoon.
After a hearty Hut breakfast with friends — some old from previous Huts, and some new, including other German-speakers that Florian could chat with — they were ready to tackle the final segment of their trip. Because Florian was feeling up to it, and the weather was again acceptable, they decided to include Mt Jackson (4052’/1235m) in the tour before dropping down to Jeffrey’s car that we left at the Highland Center days before. And including Jackson was a great choice, as it turned out. The winds were cranking along at 40mph/64kph as the fog and clouds whipped past the team. Florian relished this laughing at the notion that there must be a fog and wind machine hidden away in the trees. This summit was the finest of his trip.
Hiking thru the boreal forest, Florian was awestruck at the sights. He said this was the absolute best part of our journey and he loved the sights and sounds of the water and wind whistling thru the forest. Boreal forests must withstand harsh conditions, which include long, frigid winters, short, dry and wet summers; Plant and tree species that inhabit boreal forests have adaptations that help them tolerate such adverse conditions. Because these trees face such harsh conditions, boreal forests are mostly dominated by coniferous species. —Jeffrey
[…] Jackson was very atmospheric and one of my favorite summits as well as Adams. —Florian
Approximate totals for day four…
- Distance hiked: 4.1mi/6.6km
- Elevation gained: 552’/168m
And in Conclusion…
Thank you for choosing Redline Guiding, Florian. It seems like you had an amazing time with us and that you thoroughly enjoyed our mountains, our state, and our country. Please know you are welcome back any time.
Florian was amazed by the mountains of New Hampshire. This was the first time he had visited the United States and of course the first time he had hiked in the White Mountain National Forest. He could not say enough about our beautiful mountains using superlatives like, amazing, beautiful, wonderful, and breathtaking. —Jeffrey
And as Florian put it…
[…] thank you for making this magnificient tour possible. It was not easy for me to say goodbye to Jeff, both a wonderful guide and the greatest buddy on the hike. —Florian
Wow, we love hearing that!
Approximate culminative totals for the entire trip…
- Distance hiked: 25.5mi/41.0km
- Elevation gained: 9024’/2750m
Congratulations on a job well done, Florian! And Jeffrey, a really impressive lead! Thank you!