|Hike Name:||White Mountain National Forest - Kinsman Pond|
|Trip Date:||November 1, 2003|
|Trip Weather:||Sunny, Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Cloudy|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 61-70, Low: 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||Friday (10/31/03) – It was sunny and really nice today. I booked us a hotel room for the night at the Loon Mountain Ski Resort (which I found on the web in Lincoln, NH), then we walked to breakfast near the Hilton in downtown Boston. Checked out of the hotel by noon, then drove three hours to the Cannon Mountain tram (and ski area) to check it out for the backpacking trip in the morning. The tram was running, but for maintenance operations only. We could not use it to access the White Mountain trail system. So with that knowledge we checked out our trailhead at Lafayette Campground, stopped at the Franconia Notch State Park visitor’s center (which is closed for the season) and briefly stopped at the A.T. Around 4pm, we headed back to Lincoln, stopped at the Forest Service building for a look at how the Old Man On The Mountain collapsed in May of 2003, then stopped at two outdoor stores in search of fuel for the gas stove. There was a small grocery across the street and we picked up some trail food and spirits before heading to Loon Mountain.
Checked into the hotel around 5pm, and Pixie crashed out while I loaded our packs and had a few cold ones. Went to dinner at 6pm in the same complex as the movie theater. They had a small Chinese restaurant and we ate a quick meal then went to the 7pm showing of Scary Movie (B-) which was pretty funny. Headed back to the hotel around 9pm, and both Pixie and I were pretty wiped out from Friday night. Sacked out early and watched TV the rest of the night.
Saturday (11/01/03) – Cloudy with temps to 60’s in valley, 40’s in the mountains. Pixie and I were up by 10am and took our time getting out of town today. We talked the desk clerk into letting us stash a computer and two bags in the bellman’s closet, then headed into Lincoln to get some breakfast at a small diner. Stopped briefly at the drug store after breakfast to pick up some playing cards, then headed for the trailhead around 11:30pm. By noon we were on the trail and it was surprisingly hot for the hike since there was about 2000 feet of elevation to gain today. Hiked to Lonesome Lake (and the AMC Lonesome Lake Hut) in just over an hour and passed tons of hikers on the trail and at the hut. Took a short break, then hiked on to Kinsman Pond and the tent platforms nearby. The hike was much more difficult that the previous section, mainly due to wet trail conditions and rocky terrain. We rolled into the pond area by 3:30pm, scouted the area, then set up camp on the most elevated platform in the area. Two guys were staying in the shelter tonight, and there was another group of three on a lower tent platform, but otherwise the place was empty. Pixie and I pitched the tent, then she climbed into her sleeping bag to warm up. It was cooling off quickly this pm. I got some water then started cooking up a four course meal (with soup, salad, pasta/chicken, and hot chocolate.) Had some wine this evening and played cards in the tent until about 10pm. There was a particularly good 80’s station that I tuned in on my walkie-talkie/radio and it was good entertainment this evening. My candle lantern globe was broken during transit, but not enough to deter its use. The light was a definite plus in the tent this evening since it got dark so early – around 5pm.
Sunday (11/02/03) – Cloudy with light rain. Temps to 60’s H, 40’s L. Pixie and I set the alarms for 6am today to allow plenty of time to get to the airport in Boston. It took us about an hour to cook up some oatmeal, hot chocolate, and get packed up. We hiked the first section to Lonesome Lake in about two hours (like yesterday.) It was so steep in parts that there was no real benefit to going down hill. The second section, however, was much easier to descend since it had fewer rocks. We made it to the car in under an hour and made it out in well under three hours. Drove back to Loon Mountain by 10am and got our luggage from the same guy at the front desk. Slipped him a $10, then headed to the showers in the pool area. It was nice to get cleaned up before the flight home and this entire arrangement worked out nicely. Stopped at McDonalds for some breakfast on the way out of town then headed for Boston. We made it to the airport faster than I expected and had time to spare for our flight which left on time at 3pm and arrived in Atlanta at 6pm.