alpine garden

2008-08-12 15:35:13.000 – Lisa Hodges,  Summit Intern

Last night’s final appearance of the sun.

I once heard the saying, “There is no bad weather: only bad clothing.” Mt. Washington seems to have emphasized this concept for me. As I hiked up from Tuckerman Ravine on Sunday morning, in a brief period of clearing, I encountered many hikers wearing t-shirts, jeans, and sweatshirts, and carrying not even a day pack. As I approached the summit, light rain began to fall, and many of the hikers around me were not prepared with rain gear. Although I have yet to experience 100 mile per hour winds, I am confident that the variable mountain environment is a fitting example that in New England, one must always be prepared for the weather to change. And the best way to combat the weather is to be prepared with extra clothing.

On Sunday, I finally made the hike down to the Alpine Garden. I have been anticipating the walk to our mountain meadow for weeks, waiting for the day when we would have a good weather window when I would be able to get out of the office for a few hours for a hike. I also tend to avoid Jeff’s solution for hiking as much as possible: waking up at 4 am to go for a 3 hour hike before the fog rolls in. The alpine garden definitely exceeded my expectations. With all of the rain in the last week, the trail had turned into a stream, but I was amazed to see up close the rich alpine vegetation that grows in abundance only a few hundred feet below the summit. I also was amazed that on a mountain as popular as this one, I had the trail to myself for at least a mile as I rambled along the trail-turned-stream. Once the trail ran into Tuckerman Ravine, however, it quickly became crowded. After hiking in solitude for a while, I was a little shocked to have company for the last mile back up to my temporary home at the summit. I was met with relief when I reached the summit.

Last night, the summit once again emerged from the fog into a chaos of clouds. We were all called outside to admire the scenery. It was nice of the mountain to provide one last sunset as I leave the mountain, since this will be my last comment as I head back to school this fall. I have really enjoyed experiencing life on the summit and I will really miss the variety of weather and company atop the summit. I will surely be back to visit this mountain that I have gotten to know over the past few months.


Lisa Hodges,  Summit Intern

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