It took the lure of a Presidential Traverse on August 8 to reunite with our buddy Ultra Steve P. whom we had not seen since the 2007 Zane Grey 50 miler in Arizona! Chris's only prior NH 4000 footer had been humble little Mt. Waumbek on snowshoes a year and a half ago. He liked the looks of the Pemi Loop on the map, but I knew he'd enjoy the above-treeline views--but maybe not the rocks--of the Presidentials more. Below, Steve and me on the lovely Brookside Trail--we ascended via Valley Way, Brookside, & Watson Path.
Here we are atop Mt. Jefferson with a fellow ultrarunner. I never got his name, but Steve talked him up. :)
Waving to the Mt.Washington "Cog" Railway, summit buildings in background. This is actually one of the newer diesel trains. They are still running one coal-burning train, according to their website, "for those who want the nostalgia of an antique steam train." Ugh. There is also a toll road to the summit. To say, it can be quite a zoo up there at times... on the other hand, they have PIZZA in the cafeteria!
The requisite summit photo, after eating our pizza. Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast but not the highest on the East Coast; that would be Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina (with several other NC peaks over 6288 ft.)
We didn't break any speed records today. Since it was Chris's first time up here, he took lots of photos. That's Lakes of the Clouds Hut, about 1.5 miles below Washington. Steve was being very patient!
We debated whether or not to include Mt. Jackson at the end of the Traverse. Since it is a 4000 footer, I always lean toward doing it. Then again, it was not named after President Andrew Jackson but rather geologist Charles Thomas Jackson. Steve opted to hike down after reaching Mizpah Hut in order to retrieve the car, thus saving us about 1/2 mile of road walking, while Mr. Goofball and I continued on to "CTJ." He's so happy here, he could just...
We had enough energy to check out the view down to Crawford Notch at Bugle Cliff, but I couldn't talk him into Elephant's Head.
The next day our feet hurt. The end.