We started out this Memorial Day at the Osgood tent platforms; we had hiked up there the day before. It was 11a.m. by the time we had finished getting ready, cleaning up breakfast, talking to the neighbors and filtering our water from the small spring that flows at the start of the campground. The altitude of the Osgood tent platforms is 2500 ft. We headed up the Osgood trail towards the summit of Madison. At 4200 ft. we hit tree line, here we took some pictures of Washington, Adams, and Madison. We hiked above tree line for .5 mi when we stopped for lunch about 100 yards below the Osgood junction. It was about 1p.m. by this time, we had been frequently stopping to take in the vast landscapes. We summitted the 5366 ft mountain at 2:30, we had climbed 2866 ft in elevation. It was such a clear day, and there was practically no wind.
We headed down to the Madison spring Hut, 4825ft. Here we filled up our camel packs and talked with the AMC workers. They were still setting up the hut and planed on opening in three days. We walked by star lake, which one of the workers told us was not a real lake, ha-ha; on our way to the buttress trail. We headed down the buttress trail which was basically hopping from bolder to bolder for a mile. The first 4th we went down, the 2nd we went up and last half down again. After a mile of rock hopping down the side of Mt. Adams we descended into a mossy forest. After the never ending 1.9 mile trail we crossed the Jefferson Brook to pick up the Six Husbands trail. Descending further down to the great gulf trail. The six husbands at this stage was a nice change from the buttress, very easy grade to walk down.
At the end of the .8 mi stretch of the Six Husbands we crossed the West Branch Peabody River and met up with the Great Gulf trail. By this time we were at 3100 ft we headed east back towards the Osgood cut off trail. It was about 2.7 miles before we were going to be home free at camp. Moreover, it was getting late it was 6 p.m. at this junction. We picked up the pace and the thoughts of our freeze dried dinner kept us going. We crossed the chandler brook and then crossed the West Branch Peabody River again but here there was a cable bridge constructed. Before this though we passed clam rock and there someone had drawn a smiley face in the dirt, this helped keep our spirits up. The whole trail follows the river from Mt. Washington. The last river crossing was the Parapet Brook that flows down Madison from star lake. Here we were at 2300 ft.
To finish we started back up Madison on the Osgood Cutoff to the Osgood tent platforms, another .6 mi. but boy it seemed like forever. The whole trip was about 8 miles and we truly slept well that night.
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