After I left Starved Rock I took a small hiking vacation to the White Mountains. This is something that I have always wanted to do. I contacted Tana Shaw to see if she was interested. Tana has always took interest in my trips and wanted to go some day. I booked the trip with REI and Tana did the same. That part of the trip started at the AMC's Highland Center. Tana and I made a few stops along the way.
There were 12 participants and 2 guides. One of the participants injured her hand on the 3 day and had to leave. Her husband went with her.

Part of the Niagara River flowing over the falls on the New York side.

American Falls

Maiden of the Mist tours

Points of Interest

One trolley with a trailer. I just couldn't help myself.

Our first night of travel, we ate at a restaurant called the Angry Garlic in Baldwinsville New York

This is one of the sculptures outside of the Tourism Office where we picked up the map of Vermont

A little aged, but really who isn't

Chamber of Commerce offices are great for picking up maps.

We stopped to use the restroom and have an ice cream cone and this was part of the poster on the door.

One of our first views of the mountains. We pulled off the highway at a viewing pull off.

The White Mountains are 750,852 acres, 1225 sq miles

The Omni Mount Washington Hotel. This is the hotel we saw at the top of Mt. Washington

A little history about the iconic hotel

Information on the Crawford Notch

We stayed here the first night and also left our cars here during our hike.

The Highland Center

We arrived with a little bit of time to spare after checking into our room. We decided to go for a short hike around the lake on the property. Ammonoosuc Lake

Going around the Lake

One of my favorite pictures of the trip. Ammonoosuc Lake

Still going around the Lake

Almost all the way around the lake

Everyday there were free appetizers on the patio. Beer and wine was for purchase.

We met our guides and everyone else in the group. After the guides introduced themselves they went over the trip details. Guides were Pat and Clare

I can't resist looking at the moon. The star between to the two peaks is actually Saturn. There was a star program when it got dark. They had a high powered scope whereas you could see some of the moons for Saturn. We saw 4.

The lighter the better.

Everything in, 19 pounds including water.

We are all ready to go. Waiting on the shuttle

Getting last minute instructions

Getting all caught up. We will be staying at the Lake of the Clouds Hut

We followed this stream up to the Hut. The pictures don't capture even half of the beauty here.

Memorial along the way

Walking on rocks and roots

And the water continues

another waterfall area

They just kept getting better and better. If I was not with a group, this would have been a great place to take a dip.

Great place for a break

Everyone taking a break

The further up we went, the better the view

We walked over this not up it.

Clare was telling a story during lunch

This was the coolest looking plant. It looked tropical and the guide said there would be a yellow or orange flower. Both guides told me the name, and I tried to look it up, but nothing. Still a cool plant.

Crews would use this tripod contraption to "Fly" rocks for trail maintenance.

Once we arrived at Lake of the Clouds Hut, we downsized our packs and headed up to the top of Mt. Washington. Notice the towers in the distance.

Looking back at the hut you can see how it received its name.

Looking back was spectacular. Yes the trail was on top of the rocks.

The white spot in the center is the Mount Washington Hotel from the day before.

One of the views from Mount Washington

Shortly after we arrived the clouds rolled in.

Patrick and me at the top

Elevation marker at Mt. Washington. I don't know why I take pictures of these, you can't read them. Just to say I was there.

There is a lot going on at the top. I was totally amazed

You could take a round trip Cog Railway ride for 71-81 per person. Or if you would like to drive your own car on the privately owned Auto Road it will cost you $56 for a family of 4.

Patrick our guide is in a competition with a friend to see who can eat the most chili dogs at the top of Mount Washington. I had a Lemon Luna bar and 16oz of water. Tana had a slice of pizza.

There once was a hotel here, but now it is a museum.

Walking back down from the summit, you can see our hut.

Lake of the Clouds Hut

typical trail signs

We slept in bunks. Mine is on the left, middle. This hut sleeps 90. Everyone is supplied a pillow (bring your own case) and 3 wool blankets.

Common /eating area

We had a few clouds at sunset, but still breathless

Food is served family style and no one goes hungry.

At breakfast the "Croo" does a skit to remind us of some Leave No Trace Rules and about the tipping.

The following day it started out raining. No thunderstorms, thank goodness. But a gentle rain all day. I didn't mind the rain or wind. I did have my fleece on instead of my long sleeve base layer so I was very hot and welcomed the breeze. I took off the fleece later in the day.

Tana is contemplating something???

Because of the rain and possible storms, we took the trails around Mts Monroe, Franklin and Eisenhower, We did go over the top to Mt. Pierce on the way to Mizpah Hut

Top of Mt. Pierce. Nice break spot.

Mizpah Hut capacity 60

I'm in the Library looking down. Group was having a snack

Tana and I took a walk to the Nauman Campsite. Some of the huts offer these sites.

We didn't see any bears, but these were provided for the campers.

Dish washing station. I have never seen this before.

This campground was destroyed in 2017 during a windstorm whereas a large group of fir trees were blown-down. There is a caretaker that lives here during the summer who is working to move the trees and make the campground usable.

Campsite

This friendly group was out fixing the trail. We passed them on the way in.

Orange Hawkweed

Orange Hawkweed was all around the hut

The Mizpah hut is on the Appalachian Trail. Thru hikers can stay in the hut with meals if they would like. They often sleep on the floor if there is no room in the bunks. In exchange they will work here. Generally they will sweep up or clean. One thru hiker that I talked with cleaned out the freezer.

To get supplies to the hut, the "Croo"will carry up to 80 pounds twice a week on a packboard.

Mary and Lydia

Kathy

Sundew, this is a carnivorous plant that eats insects

Wood sorrel, the guide said it was edible…. so I tried it. Not bad, I think it would make a great tea. It is sour and leaves a lemony taste in your mouth.

There were so many different looking plants. I took the photos in hopes to look them up if I couldn't remember their names. No luck here.

This looked like a cross between a raspberry and a strawberry.

Our last hiking day was to the top of Mt. Jackson. We climbed up rocks and rock slopes. As you can see by white blaze this trail is still on the Appalachian Trail

Yes that is the trail. Straight up.

I'm pretty sure this is Mountain Sandwort. It was beautiful and everywhere once we were high enough

Top of Mt. Jackson (not after the President) but named after a New Hampshire biologist Charles Thomas Jackson

Top of Mt. Jackson. Just spectacular!

Clare, myself and Pat at the top of Mt. Jackson

Andrew and Beth

Pat tried to fly a kite, but it didn't go so well

Max and Andrea

That white spot in the center is where we came from… Mizpah hut.

Missy

Back down to the hut to pick up our full packs and then back to the Highland Center

Some type of fungi. Again can't remember the name.

One view was better than the next.

They have burls in New Hampshire also.

At the end there was a waterfall that I really had to contain myself not to walk into. I did splash on my arms and face and it was wonderful.

We exchanged emails

Great finish to a wonderful hike. Beer for me and wine for Tana.

We had some stops on the way home.

Lake Erie from the car.

Cleveland Indians baseball Stadium – Progressive Field. Photo taken from the car.