This summer I set out with my friends Denise and Molly to hike the Presidential Range under the Buck Moon. Our plan was to begin at 4 o’clock in the afternoon so that we could make it up to Madison or Adams for sunset, hike through the night under the moon and stars, and watch the sun rise from the summit of Pierce. As it turned out, thunderstorms were rolling through from about 4 – 9 p.m. So we adjusted our plans to wait out the stormy weather.
We met at the Highland Center at 2 p.m., left a car at the parking lot at the bottom of the Crawford Path (where we planned to finish), drove to the Ammonoosuc lot and left a car there (in case we needed to bail), and then drove to Moose Brook State Park and pitched our tents just as the rain started.
When the storm wrapped up we packed up, drove to the Appalachia parking lot, and started making our way up Valley Way towards Madison. As we gained elevation, a light frost glistened under the beams of our head lamps. It couldn’t have been more magical.
When we reached treeline, we were awestruck. The MWOB had indicated that it would be a good night for star gazing, and it really was. Throughout the night we took our time, moved carefully over the rocks, and paused often to marvel at the remarkable scene. It was incredible to be alone in the dark with the only the moon and stars and the silhouettes of the mountains to shape the landscape around us. We felt so fortunate to be in this place.
We were a little sad to see the moon slip below the horizon, but the sunrise from Jefferson, our 3rd peak of the trip, was spectacular.
For the remainder of our trek we had the daytime views we’re used to – which are pretty amazing, too.