This weekend I drove up to the mountains for some work on the MIT cabin at Intervale. By trading my blood, sweat and tears, I now have a key to a great base for further adventures in the Whites. After cutting down trees all day on Saturday, and gorging myself with meat Saturday night, I thought a hike was only appropriate for Sunday. I convinced a few other folks to join me on a loop of Huntington and Tuckerman ravines on Mt Washington. I didn’t tell them that the AMC guidebook lists the route as the “most difficult regular hiking trail in Whites.” If they had been warned, they might not have followed me into the breach.

As it was, they were glad they came. It was a gorgeous, clear fall day, with just the right chill in the air to take the edge off the strenuous climb. The trail starts off on the regular Tucks highway, but after Huntington diverges, becomes very steep. There are parts that require hand over hand climbing, and those unsure of their footing might prefer a rope. I made like a mountain goat and scampered up. Having trail running shoes as opposed to real boots was a blessing, because I could jam my feet in cracks and smear on smooth faces. We topped out of the ravine in the Alpine Garden, and I remembered that it was one of the places we scattered Ann’s ashes years ago. I said a silent prayer as we walked across the field, enjoying the sunshine and the spectacular view. Then we turned left and came down Lion’s Head, instead of Tuckerman. Had dinner at a family restaurant in Lincoln, where they had a painted saw with hymns and a cross on it. A cultural experience, to say the least. Then a hurried drive back to Boston, and an exhausted shower. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.