Friday Fave: Franconia Ridge, White Mountains, NH

Bohonkus Busting!

Distance:  6.2 miles (Seriously?  Was that all????? It felt like 62.)

High Point:  Mt Lafayette at 5,249 feet.

Date Hiked:  September 13, 2016

Weather:  Glorious, sunny, warm, calm, views, oh my.

This was day two of a five-day trip along the Appalachian Trail through the White Mountains, from Franconia Notch to Crawford Notch.

Apparently the rumors of White Mountain ruggedness and ability to challenge even the most seasoned hikers start way down in Georgia. 

So, hikers pretty much dread and fear New Hampshire for about 1,800 miles.

I'm not here to dispel the rumors. 

You definitely have to have your head right when you commit.

Luckily, we had a glorious, pristine day to summit Mt. Lafayette.  This was my fifth time to sit up on top with my bagel and peanut butter, and it was my first time to do it without putting on a down jacket or a wind-breaker.

Yay!

We ran into a couple we'd met at the Liberty Springs Tent Site the night before.  All agreed that climbing Mt. Lafayette is always harder than we ever remember.

As expected for a bright, sunshiny day, it was crowded on the top.  

We played leap-frog with a gaggle of loud military dudes out for a bro-hike.  A dog-fight broke out at the summit (not my dog!), which then pleasantly cleared the place out so we could quietly enjoy views of the Presidentials, Mt. Moosilauke, Mts Liberty and Flume and the expanse of the Pemigewasset Wilderness rolling away below our feet.

The last time we were here, we ran into a group of kids who'd gussied up for the trail.  Made me a little homesick for Asheville.

I hear tiaras give you super powers on the trail.

Usually we take the Old Bridle Path down, so following the AT was a new treat.  One that proved the rumors to be true and that confirmed that dread and fear can be an appropriate response to the White Mountains.  

If the ups are relentless, the downs are doubly so.

Just follow those cairns until they disappear over the edge.  Then wish your toes good luck and God speed.

We didn't make it to Garfield Shelter like we'd planned.  We caved close to the end of the descent from Mt. Lafayette and found a sweet stealth site with a view through the trees of the sunset and the mountain that kicked our bohonkuses in a totally new way this year.

But, I happen to love to have my bohonkus kicked that way, so I give today a Top 10!

Stealth poodle.

That's Mt. Washington in the back, off to the left.  Incredible that there's not a cloud in the sky.  Tomorrow we won't be so lucky.

Oy, vey.