The Franconia Ridge is so beautiful it brought former Marine buddies of mine, a day behind me, to tears. They decided to wait for the rest of their band of brothers that were vortexed behind us. This new group of people, many vets that I’ve met, are the largest collective trail family out here named The Trash People. They inducted me into their ranks. The name is a play off of the term “hiker trash” and they embrace it in fun.
What a great day this was. The first summit in line was Little Haystack Mountain at 4,780 ft, followed by Mount Lincoln at 5,089 ft. Click on the image below to view larger.
I gathered all the NOBOs together on the Lincoln summit and we took this epic sweeping panoramic photo above.
I hope you have the time to watch my video tour and that it’s beauty translates to some extent.
Before I set out for this leg of the total 80 miles of the White Mountains though, I went into the town of Lincoln, NH and stayed at a fairly upscale hostel called The Notch.
Notice the cardboard sign a hiker made with the word “vortex” on it? Vortex is another common term for hikers, meaning it’s a place you get sucked into longer than you expected and have a hard time leaving. Often resulting in multiple zero days of fun and relaxation.
This is the final stop before entering the Presidential Range in a couple days. That, in conjunction with the quality of this place, it appears a vortex at this establishment is so common they even have a custom license plate on their shuttle van.
Ascending Little Haystack Mountain after leaving The Notch, we stopped to make lunch at an AMC campground that afternoon. The mice up there were related to honey badgers obviously… they didn’t give a eff! This little dude was so bold he just jumped right in the peanut butter before anyone noticed, except me… as soon as I snapped the pic I alerted NotoriousB of his intruder.
There’s Mount Washington, 35.5 miles away now, a couple more days of hard pushing and I’ll be at this notorious summit. It’s a clear day today, but the chances of hurricane Florence hitting the area on its swing back out east into the ocean is high.
I don’t want to be caught up in these elevations above tree line when that shit rumbles through. Even with these worries, once you’re up here, they disappear. One can’t help to take the time and fully soak this experience in.
I only did 8 miles total this day, stoping often and enjoying it immensely.
Again, click the panoramic images to open them up.
Ahead is Mount Lafayette at 5,249 ft.
I’m not going anywhere the rest of the day. Checking the weather and wind reports, a few of us decided to stay and stealth camp on the Lafayette summit, cowboy style. It was a great choice.
We watched the clouds form in the valley below and funnel right up to us as the sun set.
They cleared out by dark and revealed an incredible starry night sky. Perhaps the best night sky viewing I’ve ever seen next to my experience in Kauai.