Madams, June 13-14, 2009-- Part One (Madison & BobC's 48th)
PART ONE OF TWO
Cut and pasted from our hiking blog, http://trishandalex.blogspot.com
Accompanying pictures can be found there.
Valley Way, Osgood Trail, Gulfside Trail, Lowe's Path.
Out-and-back, 11.2 miles.
We planned this hike over a month ago, and I later discovered that I had booked our hut stay for the same weekend BobC (VFTT and Rocks) was to complete his 48 -- on Madison! I was happy to know our trip coincided with his plans. Alex and I would get to be there for his finish -- fun!
There were many people hiking up Madison that Saturday morning, lots of folks wanted to be there for the celebration. There are many trails over the northern Presidentials, so people were coming in different groups and from all different directions. I decided the best way up for us was Valley Way -- the "easier" trail.
Susan (MadRiver's better half) would hike with us to the hut. MadRiver would accompany us to the intersection with the Randolph Path, then depart and ascend a more difficult route.
Here we are at the trailhead, ready to roll.
We hiked into the woods...
...and began our journey.
We hiked at a nice, steady pace. Susan and MadRiver joined me in playing Alex's name game, a trail favorite, most of the way to the intersection with Randolph Path.
Susan and MadRiver paused for a photo before MadRiver set out on his own.
Then MadRiver left us, hiking off into the distance.
We were sad to see him go.
Eventually we got our chins back up and continued on our way.
Every once in a while Susan and I would consult my guidebook to see exactly how much farther we had to hike.
Then something happened that slowed our pace for a good long while...Alex saw a couple of slugs that had been squashed by previous hikers. She pointed them out to me, and then started to hike at...well...a slug's pace. It took a while for me to figure out what was going on. Was she tired? Was she eating/drinking enough? Getting sick??
Then I finally saw what she was doing. She was scanning every rock before stepping down -- she didn't want to kill any slugs. Took me over half a mile to figure this out, and believe me it was a loooong half a mile with her hiking like that.
I asked her to tell us a story, to help keep her mind off the slugs. She initially protested, exclaiming that she COULDN'T step on a slug, that would be BAD!! I realized we were heading into OCD territory and at this rate we would reach the hut in time for breakfast the next morning.
I explained that she had to pick up the pace and just do the best she could regarding the slugs, without worrying TOO much about them. She finally agreed and launched into one of the chapters of a continuing story she tells on the trail. This chapter was all about slugs, of course -- but her pace picked up bigtime and we were back to hiking at a regular pace.
Scenes of Valley Way, up to the alpine zone:
We emerged from the trees, looked back, and enjoyed the view.
We continued on, into the alpine zone, now just a tenth of a mile or so from the hut.
Then we were there -- Madison Spring Hut!
Guess who we found just outside the hut -- Moosemaiden, Gwynna and DiamondRidge. They had also hiked up Valley Way, just 15 minutes or so ahead of us.
We heard some hollering -- looking up and toward John Quincy Adams (mountain between the hut and Adams), we could see a lone figure among the rocks -- MadRiver!
I went into the hut to drop some gear.
We had two hours before all the BobC groups were supposed to arrive -- we decided to give Adams a try. We took the scenic route toward Star Lake.
The lone kiltsman stood at his spot from on high and hollered for us to go the other way, that the way we were going was incredibly steep. We waved cheerily at him, not really understanding what he was saying, and continued onward.
Star Lake is small, but quite beautiful.
Here's Madison in the background...
Soon after the lake, things became...um...very steep. The kids slowed down and seemed less than enthusiastic. Everyone seemed pretty tired. Alex said she was game for going onward, and I have no doubt she could have done it, but I think afterward she would've been too tired to hike up Madison with the crowd. Georgia said she was also game, but Gwynna and DiamondRidge made an executive decision that we should turn around and save our energy for Madison. It was the wise thing to do.
Seeing the Lake made the venture well worth the while, however. It's only a tenth of a mile or so from the hut -- well worth the effort.
Back to the hut we went. By the time we arrived, MadRiver had come down and was at the hut with Susan.
I waited for a while with everyone else, but dark clouds were headed our way so I decided Alex and I should head up sooner rather than later. On our way out we ran into Bob and Geri, Dave Metsky, and two other very nice fellows who had hiked over with them from Jefferson. They waited at the hut while we set out for Madison. I turned back at one point and saw MadRiver and Dave taking pictures of us, so I took one of them. )
Looking up at Madison...
...up we went. After a bit, I turned and took a photo of the hut...
...then we continued onward and upward.
Alex paused to take a picture of some pretty flowers.
I then took this picture of Star Lake, with Mt. Washington (left, in the distance) and Mt. Adams behind it.
We pushed onward...
...and soon arrived at the peak. Wendy and Jay were already there, waiting for BobC. Wendy offered to take our picture.
I then took a picture of Alex, with Mt. Washington in the background.
Views from the Rocks on Top:
Alex decided to rest for a while...
...then she got up and stood on the high point. She wanted to see if she could spot BobC and the gang.
The wind began to pick up, and there were dark clouds headed our way. We decided to descend and hopefully meet everyone else on the path or at the hut. We started to head down and passed MooseMaiden et al. on the way up. Shortly after we passed them...here came Bob C and Company!
We paused to offer him our sincere well-wishes. Alex gave him the best present ever (in her mind...well, in mine too) -- four bars of chocolate. Then DaveBear, who was hiking with BobC's group, gave Alex a chocolate bar and me a small bottle of alcohol...yea! Much appreciated, DaveBear!!
We exchanged pleasantries, then the group headed up and we headed down. We would see them again at the hut, before they all descended to the Appalachia parking area.
Shortly after we parted ways, Alex tripped and scraped up her leg. She was able to make it back to the hut without any problems, but she requested that I visually document her injuries.
MadRiver and Susan had already gone down to the parking area, since Susan wasn't feeling very well. We waited at the hut for BobC and Company to come down from Madison. MooseMaiden, Gwynna and DiamondRidge came first.
The rest of the crew came down and we again offered our congrats. Alex was her usual cheery, chatty self and took a bunch of pictures.
...and Jay, Wendy and TrailTrotter..
...and the man himself...
Everyone stayed and chatted for a while, then we said our farewells.
It was such a pleasure to be a part of this event. We very much enjoyed meeting everyone -- so nice to put avatars and screennames to faces! A good time was had by all.
Great trip report as always and wonderful pictures. Looked and sounded like an awsome adventure. Thanks for posting.
Chris, thanks for your kindness.
This was the longest TR in the history of TRs, so I'm surprised anyone made it all the way through it.
It was an excellent report. It made me feel like I was there hiking.
awesome job guys. dad and i were thinking of hitting up madams in a few weeks so this was very helpful for possible trails
Tar Heel, I'm glad the report could be helpful. I hope you and your father have a great time!
Great report! I always love your reports and pics. Does Alex ever not look like the happiest kid in the world when she's out on the trail?
Summit Club Member
Seek the Peak 11
Seek the Peak 10: Lions Head/Tuckermans Ravine
Seek the Peak 09: Boot Spur (redux)
Seek the Peak 08: Huntington Ravine
Seek the Peak 07: Tuckermans Ravine/Lions Head
My 48: Washington (07/07, 07/08, 07/09, 09/09, 07/10), Lafayette (08/08, 08/09), Lincoln (08/08, 08/09), Pierce (07/10), Carrigain (09/10), Cannon (10/10), Jackson (11/10), Field (11/10), Tom (01/11)