August 3 – Mt Washington

All In woke up early to catch the alpine sunrise with Orion while the rest of the family slept a little later. They packed up before the Croo set the breakfast tables for the paying guests. Then we enjoyed a slow morning and had some breakfast leftovers. Afterwards we helped the Croo sweep out the bunk rooms and the dining room.

Then we headed out and up, hitting the mildly crowded summit before the real crowds arrive. We watched everyone standing in line for their summit photo, checked out the extreme weather museum and grabbed some ice cream just as the coal-fired cog railroad pulled in.

On the way down some of the new bio-diesel cog cars were still heading up. We all took the opportunity to bend over and wiggle our rears at the riders. The old tradition was for thru-hikers to moon the cog railway while the engineers would throw chunks of coal at the exposed rears. The trail is still littered with hunks of coal from this practice. The tradition has lost favor in recent years with some citations issued to hikers exposing their rears. Ostensibly this is due to complaints from the family-focussed ridership of the railway, but it seems equally likely that the engineers felt at a disadvantage when most of the cog engines switched from coal to biodiesel (a much less effective projectile).

We ran into Crocs and Space Blanket and shared a feast with them at the Madison hut. The extremely friendly Croo there gave us three leftover loaves of bread with butter, which the six of us promptly polished off, together with some delicious squash bisque. We hike down the rocky side of Madison, then set up camp in a quiet site falling asleep to the sound of a cascading stream.

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3 Comments on “August 3 – Mt Washington

  1. I enjoyed talking to you at Lake of the Clouds before breakfast. Your family is super sweet, and the kids are so well adjusted with hiking and life in general. Robin Hood and Cartwheel definitely seem to be enjoying the trail. Now my teenagers have no excuse, 🙂

    I look forward to the rest of your blog entries, and especially your Katahdin summit !

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