I could have sworn I woke up late when Lynn was already up and out of the room, seems she woke up at the crack of dawn since it was only 7:00 when I looked at my phone. I gathered myself and went down for breakfast only to find her sitting with strangers, nothing surprising there. Breakfast was buffet style so I got scrambled eggs, two pieces of bacon, potatoes, a pancake, and two glasses of juice. We still didn't really have any solid plans for today and that was daunting. Lynn knew I wasn't pumped about climbing a mountain I have previously done, especially with the weight of my pack. She suggested her just doing it and me getting a hotel for two days, I didn't really want to be hotel bound alone for two days, nor did I want to just leave her. I thought up renting a car, that way I could slack pack her and we could come back to the hotel each night. We had to wait until 8:00 to call Hertz and they said it would be about $40 a day, which wasn't bad. The better part was the fact that Jame's brother was here hiking with him, which meant he had a car. I asked them where the car was parked and if he would mind me driving it for two days, turns out it was actually Jame's car and he was game. We talked about the logistics that it was parked at Flume Parking near Lincoln and that if I brought it to Pickham that would actually help them out as well. Perfect, I would take the shuttle from the Highland center for $15 to the Jeep and then drive to Gorham! It is funny how everything works out how it is supposed to. I gave Lynn the brain of my pack to slack with since hers doesn't come off and we quickly packed up. She had to try to hitch back to the trail while I was on the shuttle with both of our packs. The shuttle ride was a long one, we started at 9:00 and had to hit some dirt roads to trailheads, wait 5 minutes and then go on to the next. I didn't get to the Jeep until 10:30. It was an amazing feeling knowing I had keys to a car, anything was possible. I started it up, the gas light was on, so the first thing I did was go down to the Irving and dump some money into it. James had some great orange sunglasses that I copped right over my prescription frames. Next was figuring out a motel for tonight, originally we were talking about getting one near The Highland Center but when Mount Washington was 50 minutes away I quickly decided on one in Gorham. I Googled as I drove, used Maps, screen shot to save battery, and a reservation was made! I swung by the hotel to sign the paperwork and then booked it to the Washington Auto Road. I paid my dues and drove up the narrow, steep, winding paved road, and then dirt road. It was nerve racking driving up, but especially in someone else's vehicle. When I got to the top I did the whole photo taking experience and then I grabbed some chicken noodle soup, knock-off uncrustables, and a banana; for like $8.00 it was a little overpriced. As I went to sit down I heard my name called, it was Ravioli. I went and joined him, Hobb, and Hobb's wife. Turns out they are from Vernon, small world. He and his wife had completed a thruhike when they were 38 and now he was out for round 2, she was just joining him through the Whites. It was the most perfect day up on Washington; sunny, clear, and not super windy. Once Ravioli and Hobb left, I came across Atlas and Shay for a little, and then later; Puzzle, Deleware, 10:46, Ginja Ninja, Onward, and NoroV. We sat for awhile and talked until they too pressed on. Next was James and his brother, we hung out the remainder of the time which was getting closer and closer to closing time. The auto road closes at 5:30 for anyone looking to come up, and you have to start heading down at 6:15. I would have thought she would have been here by 4:00, and then 4:30 passed and I was getting worried. What if she was hurt, or couldn't make it, or had stopped at a hut and I didn't know? I was starting to panic not knowing what to do when James and I asked a guy with a camera to zoom down the trail and see if he could see her, we had no luck. I went from one side to another, it was now 5:30 and then I saw James with Triple P! Seems she went down to the car, I wasn't there so she was on the way to find me. She had been up here since about 4:45 she said, ugh I could have killed her for the heart attack she gave me! Just glad we got her and everything turned out okay! We took the nervous drive down and the brakes started to smell so I pulled over a few times. Once we got to the bottom we headed back to the hotel to find my favorite group of boys! Lynn and I headed to the SAaLT Pub for dinner and though there was a really long wait, the food was good. I got a burger and she got some Thai bowl. We got back to the room and crashed after watching Dirty Dancing Havannah Nights.
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