Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mount Washington

Our little pre-hike tour of the trail has made it to New Hampshire, home of White Mountain National Forest and Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. (Clingman's Dome, in the Smokies, is officially the highest on the AT; I should have pointed that out when we were back in Tennessee...)

Wikipedia, which is where I got the photo, says that Mt. Washington is "famous for dangerously erratic weather" (awesome) and then goes on to say that "scores of hikers have died on the mountain in all seasons" (with a side of awesome sauce). Until just a couple of years ago, the mountain held the world record for highest recorded wind speed: over 230 miles per hour!

The AT here is looked after by the New Hampshire chapter of the Grand-Daddy of them all, the Appalachian Mountain Club. Founded way back in 1876 with the original purpose of exploring and protecting the White Mountains, the world-famous AMC has since grown to twelve chapters from Maine to Maryland with a combined membership of over 100,000...!

On a personal note, I'm now just two weeks away from starting the hike. I had my retirement party last night, and got the chance to see a lot of old friends and shipmates, who came bearing gifts! I received lots of cards, many bottles of Scotch and other fine spirits, a roll of toilet paper in ziplock bag (which is a pretty thoughtful gift for a would-be hiker, when you think about it), and even a nail gun and the air compresser to go with it (so I'll have something to do when I finish hiking)! Now that's awesome!


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