Two-Day Hike in the Whites

After gaining some confidence in my ability to multi-day hike in New England, Nate and I hit the Presidential range for a quick Saturday – Sunday hike, bagging three peaks along the way.

We set out mid-morning Saturday after spending Friday night after work in a quaint Airbnb in North Conway. We started the trip off with a meal at Sea Dog Brewing Company and ended up grabbing our final meal when we were on our way home there, too. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The start of our hike up to Mt. Jackson

Got a bit steep

And we had to dodge a freakish amount of these little frogs on the trail. They were everywhere!

Worth it. At the top of Jackson.

Quick nap at the top

After a quick rest and lots of salami, cheese, and trail mix, we headed down the rock face and saw our destination off in the distance. We stayed at the Nauman Tentsite, maintained by the AMC, which has a hut next door, too. You can see the hut as the white speck in the photo below. Pierce and Eisenhower are beyond it under some clouds.

The hike over was pretty flat compared to the steep grade up to Jackson.

We were one of the first groups at the tentsite. There are 7 platforms and most of them are big enough to share. About 30 people stayed there overnight. We had to share our platform with a lovely section hiker named Fairydust; The tentsite is right on the AT.

After chilling out at the campsite for a bit, we decided to hike up to Pierce to make our dinner away from now-crowded site. We decided about halfway up that we were starving and decided to settle for the first rockface we came to. It was perfect!

Waiting for dinner to cook

The view didn’t last forever. Here’s Nate in the exact same spot the next morning.

But we enjoyed the view while we had it. And celebrated it. With whiskey.

It poured that night, and though we didn’t hear much thunder, there was a lot of lightning. Even in those conditions, I slept better than I’ve ever slept before while camping. It’s my least favorite part – I typically wake up in the middle of the night and just assume I’m about 3 seconds away from being attacked by some wild animal. But my body is getting more and more comfortable way out in the woods.

Enjoying our favorite hiking breakfast: cheap noodle soup packets. As you can see, Fairydust is long gone.

We got up around 6:45am and almost everyone from the tentsite was up and out. The morning was foggy and cold, which was nice because when the trail looked like this, we worked up a sweat:

Finally, we got up to the top of Mt. Pierce. Although there wasn’t much to see.

Summiting Mt. Pierce!

While I loved running along the rocky ridge between Pierce and our final summit, Einsenhower, the climb up to Eisenhower was not. fun. at. all.

Being pelted by freezing rain is a good motivator to get to the top

This part reminded us a lot of Mt. Taranaki in New Zealand. Then we finally got to the top of our last mountain.

At the top of Mt. Eisenhower!

The rest of the hike back down was spooky and grey. We made a few attempts at a “oooo, creepy. we’re scared!” picture, but just ended up looking like Zoolander. Here’s our best attempt to not look like Zoolander…

Spooky woods

By the time we got down near the trailhead, it was bright and sunny. We found a waterfall and took some time to climb around.

My favorite thing to do after hikes is find a nice river to cool my feet off in. Took us a bit of time to find it, but we came across this perfect roadside river.

A refreshing weekend for our souls and our feet.

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