How to Hike Mount Washington When You’re Young and Clueless (in 33 Easy Steps)

Mount Washington boulder field 1991

In the early days of our marriage, my husband and I would disappear every weekend to hike in the White Mountains. While I loved hiking, I never quite enjoyed it. Mount Washington proved to be especially formidable.

  1. Set your alarm for 4 a.m. to drive five hours to the mountain.
  2. Hit the road at 6 a.m. after snoozing too many times.
  3. Hiking Mount Washington New Hampshire 1991Arrive at noon when it’s 100 degrees and the exact worst time to begin hiking a mountain.
  4. Gasp for breath at 12:10 p.m.
  5. Ask yourself why you are doing this at 12:11 p.m.
  6. Stop hiking to take a photo to fool your husband into pausing so you can catch your breath.
  7. Stop hiking to take a drink.
  8. Stop hiking to take another photo.
  9. Realize you’re not fooling anyone.
  10. Mount Washington stream 1991Spy an achingly beautiful moss-filled landscape just off the trail — photo opportunity!
  11. Eat lunch during a blissful lack of movement.
  12. Observe after several hours that the trees might be getting smaller.
  13. Rue that you’ll be climbing over boulders for the next two hours.
  14. Think you are at the summit, but turn a corner and realize you’re not even close.
  15. Reach the summit.
  16. Feel annoyed that people who drove up in a car are all around.
  17. Have your summit joy cut short because you have a long way to go to reach the campsite by nightfall.
  18. Think you reach the campsite and see signs that say, “Revegetation Zone — No camping allowed.”
  19. Fail to find a flashlight as it gets dark.
  20. Stumble through the “Revegetation Zone” that wasn’t on the map.
  21. Twist your ankles on rocks.
  22. Tell yourself not to cry.
  23. Say things couldn’t get worse.
  24. Experience that scene in the movie when someone says things couldn’t get worse and, with a crash of lightning, a downpour starts.
  25. Cry.
  26. Mount Washington tent on boulder 1991Set up your tent on a boulder at the side of a river because you’re not allowed to camp anywhere.
  27. Curse your husband.
  28. Tie your tent to a tree because you are afraid the river will rise and wash you away in the night.
  29. Toss and turn on a boulder.
  30. Rise before dawn and hurry away so real hikers won’t scold you for camping where you’re not supposed to.
  31. Begin an eight-mile trail back to your car.
  32. Arrive at your car hours later, exhausted and miserable.
  33. Dream of your next hike on the long ride home.
Just take one step back...

Just take one step back…

Stop Mount Washington weather sign 1991

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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8 Responses to How to Hike Mount Washington When You’re Young and Clueless (in 33 Easy Steps)

  1. Linda says:

    That hike was neither timid nor squeamish. That area is gorgeous but rugged; you and your husband are pretty tough and a cute couple!
    Linda recently posted..Blogathon and Learning To Like Co-WorkingMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Aww, thanks. I do love that mountain. I’ve driven up, taken the cog railway, and hiked up with my kids, too. We always seemed to be unprepared in our early days of hiking, though.

  2. Ha..that’s sure is a fantastic list – but only for the bravehearted!

  3. For the time, some really nice photos. I agree re: hiking at noon, not the best choice. But you look happy and having fun, anyway!
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..Whole Lotta Sexy Going OnMy Profile

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