The glaciers worked hard in New England, leaving lots of little hills behind, but no real great mountains. Mount Washington is the tallest one you can find. And so if you’re any kind of self-respecting hiker sooner or later you have to try hiking up all 6,288 feet of it.
You start at the bottom, where you read the signs erected by the Appalachian Mountain Club, warning you about sudden shifts in Weather and how some of the coldest temperatures ever recorded were recorded on top of the very mountain you’re at the bottom of, and then you start hiking through hard woods, then through pines, then through small pines, and then you get above the timber line and finally you’re nearing the top of the mountain – the tallest mountain in all of New England you remind yourself – and you’re going to celebrate your climb at the top and commune with nature up there and speak with God and enjoy the view of the Presidential Range and the White Mountains and you hike up the last few feet and at the top there’s a … there’s a … there’s a parking lot. A stinking parking lot, with cars and trucks and pouring out of those cars and trucks are people and they’re eating hot dogs and blasting radios and walking dogs and smoking cigarettes and they’re enjoying the same view you earned by climbing up the entire mountain and all they ever did was drive up the thing.
And while this is not to say you should not hike up Mount Washington, maybe you should only go up to around the 6,270 foot mark before you start down.
sauce: Nike 1991