Thunderstorm Junction: 1861.7
Pinkham Notch: 1870.4
Total miles: 8.7
The Dartmouth students who got in late the night before were quiet in the morning. Those that were still in bed comfortably snoozed. We didn't end up leaving until close to ten since we "only" had 8.7 (9.7 due to the side trail to the RMC hut) to make it to Pinkham Notch. Tyler's parents were also coming to visit today and said they would hike up from Pinkham Notch to meet us. Since we didn't want them to suffer the climb up Madison, we couldn't wait too long.
Everything in the morning seemed to take forever. After we got going, the mile back to the trail never seemed to end. We thought we might be boulder hopping above treeline forever, trying to spot subtle cairns. Then the near mile to Madison Spring hut seemed to take forever. We weren't sure where all the day hikers were coming from since the mile to the hit was infinitely far away. Somehow, we did cross the infinite and then took a break at the hut. We spent the last of our baked good tokens, and some actual money as well.
The summit of Madison happened quickly. It was a really neat summit and may have been imported from the moon. The quick ascent, though, was replaced by a forever descent that crushed knees and twisted ankles. Emily had a wipe out on the way down that ended in only scrapes and bruises, but was definitely frightening.
Tyler pushed ahead and, nearly at the bottom of the downhill, discovered Papa Bruce and Mary from Maine just about to start up the main portion of the climb. As Tyler chatted (and ate the wonderful wrap they packed out) Dean arrived, then followed by Patch, Duck Fart, and Emily. There was promise of many delicious things down in the parking lot. Duck Fart, Patch, and Dean quickly got ahead of us (though Dean later returned). We had another forever trail (though thankfully a forgiving trail) to Pinkham Notch, but it did give us a chance to catch up on life in the real world and some of the recent events that hadn't quite been published in the blog yet.
Back at the gap our nearly personalized trail magic began. There just weren't many other hikers coming through around 5 it seemed. So it was the five of us and Pig Pen, who stopped by for a quick beverage. The parents provided beers, sandwich meats and fixings galore, water melon, salty snacks, and at least three varieties of cookies. At the beginning, Tyler was off trying to find lodging for the crew (for two nights so we could slack pack back to Gorham the next day). Gorham was pretty booked up, but the Gorham Motor Inn had a recent cancellation and was able to accommodate all of us.
*Bruce (Big Dipper), Huggables, Dean, Path and Duck Fart
*Mary (Stinger) and Duck Fart
*Emily made Dean a wrap...
Dean adjusted it.
Since Mary and Bruce's crv only had room for three others, Dean and the two of us took a ride while Patch and Duck Fart hitched. When we left, they had already found a ride.
We shared a room with Mary and Bruce (to brave Bruce the snore machine himself!) and Dean, Patch, and Duck Fart shared a room (Patch can also be a snore machine). The boys headed out to resupply, which involved Walmart, Mcdoubles from McDonalds, and three pizzas from Gorham House of Pizza. We ate and drank in chez Huggayeti until about ten when we all realized we were indeed heading back to the trail in the morning to slack pack 21 miles over the Wildcats and Carters the next day. Ah time for sleeping!