25 , 1983 Thursday (335.6 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
early to take advantage of the nice weather, and to be able to travel
the 14.4 miles to Pinkham Notch Basecamp. Fourteen miles with
the type of terrain that I had to cover today would be quite a bit.
I ate my own oatmeal for breakfast this morning rather than staying
for the meal. If I stayed for the meal I would have had to stay
for the cleanup. But I managed to get some hot water from the crew
for my oatmeal and then I asked if I was "all settled"
as far as having done enough to compensate for last nights stay
and meal. They said yes, so off I went for my second climb up the
cone of Mt. Washington, this time with my pack. (I apparently signed
the guest register this morning as seen in a photo
sent to me twenty-five years later by an inspired hiker who read
my journal before his hike. He remembered me when he went through
Lake of the Clouds hut where he took this photo. I believe the drawing
to the right may have been drawn by "The Mill Hunkey",
another thru-hiker, who used to draw a lot of characters in the
registers. My reference to "Go Winston!" refers to Winston
Lumsden, "the Great Appalachian Trail Athlete" as he called
himself. I knew he had a long way to go to get to Springer Mountain
in Georgia. Someone has dated an entry incorrecly since the one
below me is dated the day before mine. Perhaps I signed the day
before and put the wrong date? Could be, since I would have wanted
to leave as soon as I could in the morning. However, my short entry
and reference to "Go Winston!" seems to indicate a morning
entry made as I was on my way out the door. Anyway, Thanks for the
It was another beautiful morning, and there was no one to speak
of on the top when I arrived. That was nice, except I had a hard
time finding someone to get into the one room post office for my
package. I had been eating so good at the huts that I really did
not need any of the supplies that I had sent to the summit, but
picked them up anyway. I packed up the supplies and headed down
the trail, descending from the cone toward the Northern Presidentials
surrounding the Great Gulf Wilderness Area.
Dropping off the cone, the trail crossed the cog railway and turned
sharply to the left to follow the Gulfside trail. I made no mention
of "mooning " the passengers on the train; perhaps since
it was not coming through at this time. I had heard that dropping
your shorts was occasionally done by hikers, and since I had "mooned"
back in New Jersey it seems likely I would have done it if given
the opportunity. Once again the trail skirted the summit of the
major peaks on its way around the Gulf. I passed to the left side
of Mt. Clay and continued on toward Mt. Jefferson, but passed to
the side of it too. At the junction of the Airline Trail, which
leads .8 miles to the summit of Mt. Madison. There was a particularly
impressive view of Madison, which the trail then continued toward.
Madison Springs Hut is reached before passing over Madison summit.
I stopped in at the hut and saw
Dick and Lan Potteiger, a couple of thru-hikers going north.
They had decided not to go up Mt. Madison, I guess they were going
to take a different trail down the mountain that began at the hut,
rather than the official trail that lead over Adams and followed
the Osgood Path down the mountain. I opted for the official route.
I was happy that the official route actually passed over the summit.
This seemed like a novel thing since all the other peaks had been
skirted. The view was great. The climb was short, but steep, and
a couple of "goofs" were at the summit in t-shirts and
shorts and no other gear to protect themselves should the weather
change. The descent to Pinkham notch from Madison was long and involved
much downhill. Over three thousand feet ticked off before I reached
Pinkham. The last few miles after Madison Gulf Trail Junction were
not as bad, just a walk in the woods so to speak.
At Pinkham camp, I asked if they needed help. They welcomed me and
set me up to work in the kitchen washing dishes in exchange for
room and board. Everyone was very nice, one girl even got me some
cherry chip ice cream while I was working. I had to stop washing
in order to finish it off. After the dishes were all cleaned and
everyone was done cleaning the kitchen, one of the boys took me
to a nearby beaver pond just before sunset to see if we could see
some beaver activity, but unfortunately we were not lucky that night.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983