The DreamYou don't have to be a nut to think of perhaps doing a Presidential Traverse after getting up Washington once, everyone thinks the same thing. So it occured to me that I should take some of my track and cross country friends and try it I mean we are all distance runners so we're all in shape and can probably hike. I do my double digit mile long runs with Eugene so I let him in on it first. Then came Jeremy because he has a fair amount of hiking experience as well. Then went the email to the team which picked up Dufty the freshman. I must mention that in all honestly neither Eugene or Dufty had done any hiking or backpacking so it was going to be "fun" for them and I knew for a fact having introduced a dozen such people to the sport that they were going to underestimate it. Everyone does. Everyone thinks they are in shape and have a high threshold of pain and tolerance to difficult conditions. (After writing that I now realize that thats how people get hurt and die they think they are "above" the weather, the terrain, whatever.) But, I figured we had "the right stuff" so we could make it where others failed.
LogisticsLodging costs money, thus I thankfully have a van. A van that can accomodate four people tightly. 3/5 hours for sleep isn't that bad. Food, we each brought our own. I told everybody in an informal gear meeting what they should have and bring such as: warm clothes, no cotton, running shoes, gloves, stocking hat, raincoat, backpack, water bottles, extra socks. Well I had some extra stuff that I lent out and then thought that everyone had all that stuff. Yeah, right, like they would listen to me. I have to admit I never used to listen to gear lists I thought I knew more than the system. Now I know better. We left Jeremy's car the night before at Crawford Notch. We drove up to Appalachia trailhead and got to sleep in my van at the trailhead.
We took like a 20 minute break then headed up to Adams. Its tought to convince yourself to get moving after stopping at a hut. Its warm and dry and there are people around with interesting stories.We headed around toward the Great Gulf and then curved back like a fish hook to get to the summit. It was out of the wind that way.
After summitting we headed off in the direction of Jefferson. Less than a half an hour before the summit it was quite a bit windier (Edmonds Col I think) like 40mph and everyone was getting cold. Jeremy said he might go down then. I think he was looking out for Euge cause Euge wasn't looking good. We did Jefferson and in my head I was thinking of how I could motivate them all to continue and do the whole thing. I was preparing a speech and all. I was also thinking the whole time how I was just plain uncomfortable and wanted to stop. My thoughts then collided and I knew we were heading down. The next time we stopped I told them and we all burst out laughing and the mood of our group lightened suddenly because we knew it would be over soon. The presidentials may not be big or difficult but the weather is really the biggest and to an experienced party by far the most important factor in determining success.