Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 2

A beautiful sunny morning gave way to a beautiful sunny day. Bear Bag and I left camp for the 2.5-mile climb up Mt Kinsman. We passed a pond (no moose...) and spent the last mile literally climbing...as in letting go of the trekking poles and pulling ourselves up. It was slow, slow going and took 2 hours to the top. We took a break enjoying the view with Muldoon and Info and Harmony, and then headed across the ridgeline to the north summit and down the mountain. Again, very rugged trail today and lots of steep rock steps and rock slabs to navigate on the way down. It takes so long because with each step you have to think, Where will I put my feet?...Where will I put my hands/poles?...Where will I catch myself if/when I fall? We finally made it to Lonesome Lake Hut where we were anticipating soup for lunch, but they were out of soup! Very disappointing as we were looking forward to it all morning. We ate from our food bags and filled up on water.
The huts in the whites are bunkhouses, and guests pay A LOT of money to have a bunk to sleep in, and for breakfast and dinner. Supposedly the huts always have hot soup for passers-by to buy, and sometimes they will let thru-hikers do a work for stay, where we can do chores to sleep inside (on the floor) and get leftover dinner and breakfast.
We had a few more miles down to the road, including a crossing of Cascade Brook where a bridge had washed out from the storm. Very scary rock-hopping for me (Bear Bag has no trouble with it) but I finally made it across. When we got to the bottom we of course went right back up for about 3 miles. It wasn't steep until the end, but I was tired when we got to Liberty Spring Campsite around 6. There are tent platforms here and it's a Friday night so it is crowded. We are crammed onto a platform with Torch and a couple of section hikers. And, we had to pay $8 a piece to stay here! Everything...shelters and campsites...costs money in the Whites and it's annoying. You can stealth camp but it's difficult to find a spot with the grade of trail and the rocks. Anyway, tomorrow we are walking Franconia Ridge! I've been looking forward to this for months...I just hope we have nice weather!
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