New England

“5 Miles on the Appalachian Trail”

We began our early morning with a fun-filled, Harry Potter-themed breakfast hosted by the Appalachian Mountain Club “Croo” (crew) at Lakes of the Clouds Hut at the base of Mt. Washington. Immediately after breakfast we began our strenuous nine-hour hike up mountains, down rocky slopes, and across alpine meadows.

The beginning of the steep hike up from Lakes of the Clouds to Mt. Monroe (you can see the Mt. Washington Observatory behind us in the distance).

We hiked across (or around) the summits of Mt. Monroe, Mt. Franklin, Mt. Eisenhower, and Mt. Pierce, and ended our trek at Mizpah Spring Hut. We worked tirelessly as a team all day — supporting each other with gear, shoulders to lean on, and words of encouragement.

Frances shares her passion for plants with us when we discover a patch of “bog cotton” along the trail. Now it is one of our favorite plants from this new environment!

Our group ended the day with a delicious meal and tired feet. Dinner was filled with laughs and a great sense of accomplishment. As we fall asleep tonight (which won’t take long!), we can reflect back on all the different habitat types we hiked through — from the treeless alpine zone, to krummholz (trees stunted in their growth due to extreme weather conditions), to the boreal forest. Tomorrow is a new (and shorter!) day and we will hike down into the northern hardwood forest.

Look how far we’ve come! Five miles (9.5 hours) later, we arrive at our destination- Mizpah Spring hut.