20070703 MadDog and Mutha's Mystery Tour

MadDog came of retirement today. What he's been doing in the MadCave all these months is beyond me, but whatever is in the water isn't for mere mortals. Get this:

I meet up with MD at the Dunkin Donuts in Gorham. We sit down for a cup of coffee and lay out the map on the table. MD is not thrilled with the hike I picked out (16 miles in the Wild River valley). He kindly points out that it's a lot of driving for me. Okay, fine by me. MadDog's a great guy, but I was wondering why he wanted to meet in Gorham anyway, since he was just across the border in Maine, just beyond Evans Notch. So what does he want to do? I've got my little pack, 2L of water and no clothes other than my yellow, light wind-breaker and I'm wearing my Vasques. What does he suggest? Remember, he's just come out of retirement and swears he hasn't been doing Mt. Mansfield sprints. MadDog says, without a hint of joking or a wink or a nod: "hey, how about doing the northern Presi's?". Sure MadDog, Madison, Adams & Jefferson. You know I'm up for anything.

So, now that we know we'll be hiking all day, what routes up & down? We look at the map and decide on going up the Daniel Webster Scout Trail (highly steep and rugged on the east flank of Madison) and down ... drum roll please ... the Six Husbands Trail into the Great Gulf Wilderness. That's a little over 15 miles, three major ass-fucking summits (5.3k, 5.8k and 5.7k ft respectively), and an unknown trail down the promontory between Jefferson Ravine and the Great Gulf. Good thing I had enough food and water for a 6 hour outing.

15.1 miles, thousands of feet and 10.5 hours later, I have this to report (and this is just a preliminary list - photos, movies and more commentary on the way):

  1. tMail! Don't pop a rivet. We did Adams. This is my 4th time on that summit and the 4th time I've sworn never to go up that piece of shit again. I have one word for you in your quest for your 48: "solo".
  2. Mt. Adams is a piece of shit.
  3. The Six Husbands trail is the coolest trail in the Whites. At first, it was like Boott Spur - like going down a ridge that juts out like the prow of a ship. The similarity stops there. It then drops down a heavily wooded cliff that features ladders, careful climbs and ass-pinchingly sphincterrific slabs. It took us about 1.5 hours of continuous climbing. I'm pretty sure that this would be a harder ascent than Huntington Ravine. Hopefully the pictures do it justice. There are steps all over the Whites, but this was the first ladders we'd seen. (I think Beaver Brook on Moosilauke has ladders.)
  4. The trip down the Great Gulf Trail was pretty sweet. It's one of the most beautiful trails I've been on. The last 2.5 miles back to the Dolly Copp campground were pretty boringly flat - so navigable that three guys on mountain bikes came zipping by. But the upper part is gorgeous.
  5. We saw a moose. I don't mean an off-in-the-distance moose. I mean MadDog suddenly stopped short, going "woah, woah! mooooooose!". It was 6 feet away, just off the trail in the woods. We actually backed up slowly about 5 steps, but it seemed pretty cool with us. I took lots of pics and movies - at one point advancing toward it with the camera about 2ft from its nose. Photos and movies to follow - probably tomorrow.
10.5 hours - what a day. We didn't run (even though MD took off like a rocket down Madison like a goddamn mountain goat). I just humbled along like a freakin' stumblebum.

Update 7/4: Pics are posted. Happy July 4th Everybody!
Update 7/5: YouTube video is posted
Update 7/6: HighRes .mp4 available (14mb - optimized for streaming)


  1. rivet popping now....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

  2. Awesome. Sorry I missed the day - sounds like a blast.

    My contribution, a link to a list of 2007 trail races - http://www.runwmac.com/gt2007/gt07-races.html

  3. muthaz..another great narrative....

    and mad dog...well...he's just plain mad.

    sorry I missed it. been a little busy around here but hopefully soon I'll free up some time and join in on the fun.

  4. Happy 4th to everyone....

    MZ one question how was the return to Edmands Col?

    MadDog was this your coming out party?

    My 4th of July morning was spent riding 45 miles then running 7...legs feel strong again...off to spend the rest of the day with Dao...


  5. I tortured poor MD w/ endless chatting, including highly repetitive tales of getting bogged down in Edmands Col. I think the constant chatter hurt him more than the banging on rocks.

  6. Wow! Nate told me about the moose video on YouTube so I had to check it out! You guys are crazy. You should work for National Geographic!

  7. I should take the advice of somebody who signs their comment "anonymous"? How about I should go jump in the lake?