9/3 Kinsman slackpack (16)

October 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm

 

IMG_20130903_164915_451A trek over the Kinsman range today turned into a longer trip than we anticipated.  My dad slackpacked us for the muddy sixteen miles so we could enjoy the last of our ‘day hiking’ feelings in NH.  After this, it’s back to lugging our own weight around since we won’t be hiking anywhere easily accessible from the Lincoln area again (See: you can’t get there from here, Ref: every old timer in New England).  IMG_20130903_152515_965Damselfly, Zeke, Mark, and I approached the range with excitement, but found ourselves slowed a little by the rough roots, muddy patches, and boggy areas.  Damselfly was having some ankle trouble as well, still healing from her sprain last week.  We were still breathless though when we reached the top of the range and took in some of the classic White Mountain views.

IMG_20130903_164133_555We all took turns sitting in the rock cairn throne on North Kinsman and enjoyed the ledge on South Kinsman, which has long been one of our favorite views in the Whites, since you can make out the whole Franconia range and it’s usually not too packed.

IMG_20130903_173406_965The way down was slower than the way up, involving a lot of picking through the rocks and roots on a steeply descending slope.  Fortunately, we knew once we got past the Fishing Jimmy trail and to the Lonesome Lake hut, the trek would be an easy well graded one.  IMG_20130903_155736_181Rather unfortunately, however, we discovered that the trail we thought we were taking that we had always used to get up and down from Lonesome Lake was not actually on the AT.  Instead, the AT routed us down a poorly maintained trail with several washed out bridges.

IMG_20130903_174855_829

We were mostly frustrated because the caretaker of Lonesome Lake Hut let us know that the AT was in great shape right now, and there was no need to take the alternate route we were used to even though we had an injured hiker at nighttime and it was raining…  To complete our comedy of errors, we also forgot about how difficult it was to get from the AT crossing to the actual highway.  Despite the fact that the highway crosses the trail overhead, it is a 0.7 mile detour along the bike path there to get to a parking lot.  In the end, we ended up in the parking lot very late at night, with most of us sporting wet boots and wet self esteem after the unexpected river fords.

IMG_20130903_164948_437

Although maybe the end of the day wasn’t ideal, we were glad we had a clear day for the Kinsmans and, looking back on it, it was a good day to say goodbye to Zeke.  Our favorite BASHer (colloquially, Big A** Section Hiker) carried a bag that weighed nearly twice what ours did and he did the same miles the thru hikers were doing.  Zeke was a really inspirational look at how powerful perseverance and personal strength can be.  We’ll miss him a lot.

IMG_20130903_170514_580