We started with a long climb, not too steep- gradual with, again, lots of great views. Stopped at the Mitzpah Hut for some foot, rest, and a boot break (let those footsies air out!). We ended up buying a splitting a big hunk of the same spice cake we had at Galehead Hut. Yummy!
After the hut, things got easier. The mountains go up and up, like giant steps climaxing with Mt Washington. The trail goes around, not over, the summits to it literally looks like a set of giant stairs: climb, walk level for a while, over boardwalks and around rocks, climb again, walk level for a while, etc. Though it rained in the notch the night before, it was clear and sunny up in the mountains all day. And warm. I hiked in a tee-shirt and shorts right up to the summit. How often can you do that in the White Mountains? The sky was super blue with big puffy white clouds. Everything looked like a postcard! I tell you, we were so lucky with the weather in the Whites. It was heaven.
When we reached Lake of the Clouds Hut, I was anxious to get to the top to meet Jen and Michele, who had driven up to meet me. I hadn't seen them in over 4 months. But Subaru calmed me down a bit and made me take a short break to eat. From the hut to the summit, I was a hiking machine! It was by far the fastest I had hiked on the entire trail. With no weight in my pack and friends waiting at the top, I literally sprinted up the boulder field to the summit of Mt Washington.
I needn't have rushed so much. WIth the bike race, the auto road was backed up and they were waiting to get on. When Subaru joined me (for once, I beat him to the destination) we went to the snack bar, toured the Tip Top House, and put on all our layers since it gets awfully cold with the wind when you aren't sprinting up a boulder field.
Then Jen and Shell were there! It was so good to see them. We went to Pinkham Notch to get our gear, checked into the hotel we had booked, and put our wet tents out in the sun to dry. The we went to eat. We ate at Tuckerman's Tavern. Really good food, big portions. My friends were laughing at us and our hiker sized appetites. Then they dropped us off at the hotel, we said our goodbyes and they hit the road for home. Short visit, but wonderful visit.