For the August long weekend this year, I was finally able to convince Dan to try hiking in the Appalachians. And by “convince”, I mostly mean “plan and book everything, and then tell Dan that we’re going”. You see, after Vancouver, he’s been under this impression that there are no mountains worth climbing out here. I think he was pleasantly surprised!
We started our drive on Friday afternoon, choosing to avoid Montreal and go along quiet country roads and through Cornwall instead. The views from the scary bridge at Cornwall were fantastic, but try not to look at the road too closely. Shortly after crossing the border, we had our first Amish sightings, including two buggies and a few roadside vegetable stands.
In addition to the Amish, New York seems to be a patriotic
What I didn’t know when I mapped out the drive was that our route involved a cute little ferry between NY and Vermont. A lovely evening made for smooth sailing, and we were on our way in under 15 minutes.
Our plans to have dinner at a small-town restaurant on the way were thwarted by the fact that that’s what EVERYONE in those small towns does on a Friday night, so everything was packed. We gave up after two attempts.
Hiking trips are usually much more interesting if you don’t have to double back to return, so we caught a convenient (but expensive) hiker shuttle to our starting point. We’d be hiking up and across the Presidential Range, and then back down to our car.
Saturday involved a 2-hour hike up to the tent platforms where we’d be spending the night. After a quick lunch and tent setup, we left our main packs with the tent, and set off to summit Mt. Madison and Mt. Adams. Both are conveniently accessible from the Madison Hut (which will gladly cater to your unheated bunk-bed, dinner and breakfast needs for an un-thrifty $108 usd/night/person). Both peaks are within 30 minutes to an hour from the hut, making for a lovely afternoon hike with our little day packs. The trails are all well-maintained and, while you sometimes feel like they maybe overdid it on the cairns, there’s definitely no danger of losing the path.
On the way back to the tents, we took the ridge trail, which both of us found much more interesting than the forest trail we took up to the hut. Guess which trail we took the next morning?