A more adventurous cycling tour! – pt VII

Thursday 26th May

Today is our day off cycling. And Micha wants to climb up a mountain. Not just any mountain. Like a humble little Scottish Monroe or something. But an actual mountain. Mount Washington is considerably larger than Ben Nevis. And my legs are already tired from all that cycling. Oh well. Guess it’s time to get up and cycle to the foot of the mountain.

Sadly, we're not taking the train.

Sadly, we’re not taking the train.

On our way cycling to the foot of the mountain, I spot a bear!!! Sadly/luckily, I only spot it for a second as it disappears into the undergrowth. So no time for a photograph. Probably just as well, as I’m not entirely sure what bears think about having their photos taken.

Needless to say, it’s a bit of an uphill cycle to the to bottom of the mountain. By the time we get there, my mood has pretty much resorted to “fuck this” but Micha insists that it’ll be easy enough, and we totally have enough supplies with us, and anyway, the view will be worth it. I suppose in hindsight, he was right on one of these points. He kept quite about it being a 6+ hour hike.

Anyway, off we went.

Are you sure this is the start of the trail? It doesn't look very much like a path.

Are you sure this is the start of the trail? It doesn’t look very much like a path. It looks more like a stream.

Micha gearing up to leap over the water. I will leave it to you to guess if he ended up with wet feet or not.

Micha gearing up to leap over the water. I will leave it to you to guess if he ended up with wet feet or not.

The first couple of hours comprised of a reasonably nice, if uphill, walk through the forest. It was pretty warm, but there was a lot of shade, so not too bad. Micha managed to spot a snake, which while less exciting than a bear, was still pretty exciting.

A not very good photo of Micha's snake.

A not very good photo of Micha’s snake.

Later, much later… we break through the treeline. We’ll soon be at the top, right?

I guess we really are out in the sticks.

I guess we really are out in the sticks.

As we continue to head up and up, and contemplate much much larger, and more uphill, America is compared to the Hebrides. And how there’s no longer any shade. Or much water. Good view though, good view. I’ll give Micha that.

Not if that isn't an expression of genuine joy and happiness, I don't know what is.

Not if that isn’t an expression of genuine joy and happiness, I don’t know what is.

Micha actually looks like he might be getting tired.

Micha actually looks like he might be getting tired.

Still a surprisingly long way to go.

Still a surprisingly long way to go. That isn’t the peak.

Still not the top. But we have found one of those cloud lakes. With ice! In this heat?

Still not the top. But we have found one of those cloud lakes. With ice! In this heat?

Sadly, we didn’t quite make it to the top. I know, I know. It pains me to admit it. But we gave up within about a mile of the summit. Probably a good idea, as the last stretch was quite hard going, clambering over all the rocks, with no shade, in hot weather, with no water left. So when given a chocie between more uphill, or heading down towards the Lake of the Clouds Hut, I suggested we take the sensible option. Especially given the hundreds of miles of cycling back to Montreal!

This is down a bit from the highest point we made it to. You can see the summit in the distance. Still, not to worry, at least I got this cool photograph of myself.

This is down a bit from the highest point we made it to. You can see the summit in the distance. Still, not to worry, at least I got this cool photograph of myself.

A chance for a rest! And some water! I could really do with some water.

A chance for a rest! And some water! I could really do with some water.

After resting our legs a bit, we started on the descent. It turns out the path we took down was considerably steeper than the one we climbed up. A lot of the way was literally climbing down waterfalls! I missed some really good photograph opportunities as by this point, I was getting increasingly tired and was focusing on getting down in one piece!

Part of the trail down! (viewed from having just climbed down).

Part of the trail down! (viewed from having just climbed down).

An action shot of Micha doing his thing!

An action shot of Micha doing his thing!

I suppose we keep on following the water down. Are  you sure this is the way?

I suppose we keep on following the water down. Are you sure this is the way?

An action shot of me doing my thing!

An action shot of me doing my thing! it’s a shame we don’t have any food, as this seems like a nice spot for a picnic!

And, onwards and downwards for a quite a while longer. By the time we got back to our bikes, my knees felt like they were starting to go. And joy, about a 10 mile cycle back to the campsite. Pack up the tent, then onwards to Carrol – another 10 miles. At least we were treating ourselves to a motel, beer and food.

 

 

 

 

 

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