|Ty showing off her mountain goat skills on the slide|
Mileage: appx. 18 miles
Elevation Gain: appx 2,000 ft (couldn't find a reliable revision from the old summit data in my book)
Total Duration: 11hr10min
Yesterday was full of stories; I tried to keep my description as to the point as I could but the tales were woven into the description so here goes!
|An impatient pup|
Linda came up for what was planned to be Owl's Head and potentially a night at a campground and smaller hike on Sunday. I activated and felt pretty comfortable with my DeLorme InReach Explorer from my aunt and uncle and had mapped a route that included the Black Pond Bushwhack to avoid some of the water crossings and possibly the Brutus Bushwhack if we weren't comfortable with descending the slide.
I convinced Linda we should leave around 1:30AM and we were only slightly later than that when we pulled out of the driveway and it was barely after 4:00AM when we set out on the Lincoln Woods Trail.
You can check out my recent report of our trip to the Pond and Falls off of that trail for a better description if you're interested. Its broadness and flat nature were a welcome start in the dark.
The light came quickly and we turned onto the Black Pond Trail a little after 5:00AM. Just after turning onto the trail, I felt it was okay to unleash Ty but, upon noticing the 3 tents off to the side of the trail (whose residents I probably unfortunately woke up anyway with my loud talking), I opted to put on her e-collar but not her bear bell. Not two minutes later, she took off and I went crashing through the woods after her. With Linda not far behind, I cut a straight path through the woods breaking the morning silence hollering for her. About the time I started thinking we had gone far enough and she'd probably doubled back to the trail by then, she came running up to Linda from behind, looking relieved as all heck and making me think my theory was accurate. Twenty feet ahead, we were looking down at what looked like old port-a-johns. We headed down the old trail in front of them in the direction of the sound of water and almost immediately were on the Franconia Falls Trail just shy of the main attraction.
|Reunited, we came up on the backside of this old structure|
|Just to the left of the rock on the side opposite the sign is the spur|
|Ty says, "I told ya so, the sign lies!"|
|Easy 'whacking at first...|
|The trail fading...|
|Finally on the most well-worn Black Pond 'whack!|
|Meeting back up with Lincoln Brook Trail|
Lincoln Brook Trail:
|Just a pretty view, no crossings til further ahead!|
|OH Path junction|
|An unassuming beginning|
|Franconia Ridge in the clouds|
It remained steep and rocky in the trees for awhile and became quite wet with water running down the rocks, making a lot of mud as well. I'm sure that section was less than a half mile but seemed to drag on. Finally the rockiness subsided. When it leveled out I knew we were near the "old" summit that I had reached before. It counted for the 48's but, after learning the truth, it always bothered me that I didn't reach the "true" summit.
The ridge was lovely. At the time, we were mildly impatient but it was soft on the feet, had a great vista through the trees of Lincoln Slide, and the sun shone on us. At the end (there's a little bit of a path behind it but don't pay it any mind) was a cairn against the tree that I celebrated loudly. It felt great to reach the final summit and break Linda's non-summiting streak with her #23!
|Not the summit|
|Nice view of Lincoln Slide|
|Ty's first TurboPUP|
|Ty has many ways of half-a**ing commands when she's pouting|
(this time about being leashed). Above is her response to "come."
Heading down the slide:
|Taking a break while we talked to Tucker's mom as she and her group headed up|
At the last crossing we'd avoided the first time, I managed to fall in just shy of the edge, banging up my knees. I was happy Ty was wearing her Front Range (no need for the Web Master but the Front Range is great for when she's leashed) because it helped me assist her. Towards the edge, she started paddling ahead. I put my faith in her confidence and gave her as much thrust as I could. I watched her almost get solid footing on a rock underneath the water when her butt started to move downstream. I panicked like an idiot and reached ahead for her. Simultaneously, I knew she was okay and I was going down - ouch. It took me a moment to get up but I hate the thought of a scenario where she puts her trust in me then something happens. The next crossing was wider and probably as deep (briefly) but went much smoother. Because we decided to wade through instead of skirt the sides for a rock-hoppable point again, Ty needed assistance. Linda handed me a trekking pole and we slowly and steadily made our way across. To her credit, Ty was all set at about 2/3 of the way across.
|Sad to say I forgot I had my camera with me |
for the remainder of the Lincoln Brook Trail
(my phone case's screen was too wet to activate).
We reached the junction with Franconia Brook Trail and took a right for the next 1.7 miles of our trip. It was flat, fairly wide, and heavily wooded along its sides for the most part. It's a trail Tango would probably enjoy quite a bit if it weren't so far out. Except for a couple of water bars, there weren't any water sources. It ended at the edge of the Pemi Wilderness and a bridge just a few minutes north of where we first diverged from LW trail. And where we hit the tourists. Honestly, it was an unfriendly bunch overall we were quite disappointed. Ty was a sport though, moving over to be on the woods side of me every time she was prompted.
|A wee crossing|
By the time we were nearly finished, our desire to peel our shoes off overrode the urge we'd had for hours to sit in the water so we skipped all opportunities and made haste to the cars, cracked a couple Angry Orchards, and stuffed our faces with chips while our feet dried out. So that's our Owl's Head story.