Day 72 – Fiasco and the Presidents

The day began with the Coffee fiasco. On my previous long thru hikes I have given up coffee but on this one I took it back up after the second snow storm hit me. There is just something so refreshing about a nice warm cup of coffee in the morning. It brings back feeling to your cold fingertips along with heating and comforting from the inside out. The caffeine is also a nice benefit but with the things I get to see every day, I don’t need to much motivation to get out of bed. Today I made a great cup of coffee and even put in the packet of cocoa I had saved for a special time. I was heading up Mt. Washington today and figured it was the perfect time for the poor man’s mocha. The sip I had was amazing. But then as I set it down to put on my pack all hell broke loose. The steam from the hot mocha caused the top of the cup to open and when my pack tilted as I secured one last item, the entire beverage poured out. I was devastated. My one comfort for my first couple miles was gone. If I did such things I could have cried. Brushing it off I walked down the trail with only the smell of coffee surrounding me and a parched mouth. Luckily I came to Zealand hut and peered in. It was open. I went in and asked the care taker if they had coffee. This is contrary to my personality in every way. I would normally tell some stories, hint at coffee and just fish for the trail magic but after my devastating morning I was all business. In exchange for some hiking stories the caretaker, Lauren was very happy to give me coffee! It made my day. And it was no easy day. I climbed all the way down the ridge, crossed over the road at the bottom and began the 12 mile slog to the top of Mt. Washington. It is the mountain home to some of the worst weather in the US. For me it was perfect albeit very slow going climbing to the top. Eventually after climbing across the entire presidential range I arrived at the top. It was all to myself! I began to realize how exhausted I was and how unappealing the icy, treacherous climb down looked. I just had to go for it. I put on some good music and began walking. My long day was greeted with an amazing sunset. It was one of the moments that comes around about once a week that puts a smile on your face you just can’t remove. Despite the cold I through out my sleeping pad and bag and slept under the stars and as thoroughly exhausted from over 10k feet of climbing today.