Our entire trip to New England was based around climbing Mount Washington, the highest point in New Hampshire and New England. We picked a day the weather showed the best chance to summit and headed up to New Hampshire and made our start from the cog for the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. There was heavy fog with the occasional sprinkle, but otherwise not bad at all. About a 1/4 of a mile before the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, we ran into a ranger making his way down the mountain. He advised of poor weather conditions at the top and strongly recommended to not hike any further once getting to the hut. My mother and I sat down for a break and discussed our options. Our final decision was to turn around at the point we were already at. And it was a tough decision to make. It was the first time I was unable to complete a summit and it hurt. However, we made the best of our trip despite multiple other setbacks. And we will return to New England next year for our second attempt.
"Here we wer compelled to kill a colt for our men & selves to eat for a want of meat & we named the south fork Colt Killed Creek, and this river we call Flathead River. The Mountains which we passed today much worst than yesterday the last excessively bad & thickly strowed with falling timber & pine spruce fur hackmatak & tamerack, steep & stoney our men and horses much fatigued, the rain..." --Lewis & Clark Sept 14th 1805. --
This entry was written on an island directly below the hill top shown here. I can personally attest to its steep, loose and rocky nature. The true exploration and adventure of Lewis & Clark over two centuries ago is something sadly unattainable in modern times. That being said, the sense of unknown--real unknown--and the highs and lows of discovery and fear; elation and crushing dismay; was the essence of true 'wilderness.' It's history like this, and experiences like those of this generation of gritty pioneers and explorers thay contribute to our almost desperate fight to preserve what wildness we have left. Once we dam the last wild river; log the last old growth forest; trammel the last of our complete & self-willed ecosystems--there is no regaining what once was.