Monday, 22 August
|Destination: Lonesome Lake Hut (1818.3)
|Today’s Miles: 9.3
|Start Location: Greenleaf Hut (1827.6)
|Trip Miles: 47.6
Today was a perfect day for hiking, low sixties, overcast with light winds. After breakfast Wedding Walker and I were out before eight. First up was a thousand foot climb to get from the hut back to the AT. Not official AT miles but extra. More about extra miles later.
We spent a couple miles above tree line on Franconia Ridge with amazing views in all directions. A lot less hikers now that the weekend is over. It was a long 3,800 foot descent to Franconia Notch. Notch in New Hampshire is the equivalent of gap in Pennsylvania. It means you are at a low point so you can only go up. So it was up 1,200 feet to Lonesome Lake Hut.
Since ten miles was not enough for us today we took a side trip to the summit of Mount Liberty. Three tenths up and three tenths down. From now on we pay more attention to the signs at trail junctions!
Tomorrow’s plan is to go north on the trail back to Franconia Notch and catch a shuttle to The Notch hostel. My right knee is bothering me a bit so the short planned day and a zero will give it a little rest. The Notch has great reviews from other hikers. Otherwise WW and I would have had to hike twelve miles to Kinsman Notch. This is a difficult section. We do not have our tents yet and with most days hiking about a mile an hour it would be a stretch. In addition it sounds like the weather may be wet.
We will end up skipping this section to stay on schedule and save my knees. This has been the hardest week of the AT for me. A little unique to this hike, my arms are a little sore. Climbing over rocks and using your hiking poles to push yourself up will do that.
While salad was being served at dinner a group of four women arrived. They were celebrating a bachelorette party. The bride to-be’s sisters decided not to come along because they do not hike. Her friends were along only because they did not have to sleep in tents. Tomorrow they are going ax throwing.
The super secret dessert was chocolate chip cookies. I had two since there were only fifteen people for dinner!
Lonesome Lake Hut is unique in that there are several buildings connected by walkways. There is the main building with the kitchen and dining area, two bunkhouses and a bathroom. One of the smaller huts sleeping forty eight. It is the southern most hut and therefore our last hut stay.
The rain started around eight.
Photos from the last few days have been posted, you have to go back to each day to see them. This is being posted a day late from a hostel with WiFi.