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