Presidential Range: August 4-6

My son, Jason, has finally made it here! He was supposed to arrive on Friday, but due to flight delays, due to weather, he got to Gorham Saturday morning after a 3 hour rental car drive from Burlington, Vermont. I had been resting at Libby’s hiker hostel for the last two days waiting for him. I’m glad I was not hiking on Friday due to all the rain, plus it rained hard through the night, and Saturday morning finally clearing about noon.The Presidential Mountain range is a 30 mile hike from Pickham Notch to Crawford Notch. It is a series of picks named after the early presidents that range from 4,800 feet up to Mt. Washington which is the highest at just over 6,200 feet. It was great to have my son join me for these 3 days and enjoy the experiences. With the late start on Saturday we only hiked 5 miles to the Osgood campsite. With all the rain on Friday, Friday night, and Saturday the trails are nothing but little streams. Our feet and shoes were soaked after just the first mile, but the sun had come out and the day was clearing. On Sunday morning it was good to have devotions with my son Jason and to start a long day of hiking. We had three extra miles to hike because of our short day on Saturday. Reclined over 3000 feet in less than 2 miles which is pretty steep over lots of rock and water still flowing down the trail. We made it to Mount Madison and then to the Madison Hut for lunch at noon. We still had a little over 6 miles to hike to Mount Washington, the highest point on the trail in the Northeast, and then another mile and a half to the Lake of the Clouds Hut where we were going to stay Sunday night. It was a long hike but it was a gradual uphill which made it a little bit more bearable. We did have beautiful breezes and sunshine which made for a great hiking day. The views were fantastic as we were above treeline and could see all the Appalachian mountain range throughout New Hampshire and even Vermont. We met many day hikers and section hikers as well as thru-hikers northbound and southbound. We took some pictures of ourselves at the top of the mountain (attached) and then continued on to the Lake of the Clouds Hut which was another mile and a half down the mountain. We reached the Lakeland Clouds Hut which was full, including the dungeon area which is an area where thru-hikers can stay. We asked for work for stay for the night, they agreed and said that we could sleep on the dining room floor and that we would have to do clean up on Monday morning. 10 on Sunday night we are finally able to lay at our mattresses and sleeping bags and try to get some sleep. We only got about 4 hours sleep. In the morning Jason and I had sweeping duty. We had to sweep the dining area out and then all the bunk rooms where the guests stayed. For our efforts we received leftover supper Sunday night and breakfast on Monday morning plus the opportunity to sleep in the dining room. Overall it was a good deal! We left the Lake of the Clouds Hut at 10 am and headed to Crawford Notch another 7 plus miles away. The trail was finally drying out but there were still spots of mud and water as we headed down. Hiking was all on stone and rock and that is just tough on your legs and your knees especially and also carrying a 30 lb backpack. I will have to work on lightening my pack more which means caring less food and other items that are not essential. It was a great three days of hiking with Jason and he will be missed as he heads back home on Tuesday. I will take a zero-day on Tuesday to rest my knees and then head out on Wednesday again. I continue to be blessed by your prayers and all the warm fuzzies, that Jason brought, which were great to read. I am truly blessed by my Conference Grounds family!