Monday, June 13, 2011

Misty Mountain Hop.

Lee and I had planned to go camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire this weekend... but the weather didn't cooperate.  So instead, Lee came up with a day-trip adventure that would get us out of the house, out of Boston, and out into the wilderness.  We woke up early Sunday morning, filled our camelbaks, packed some car snacks and headed up I-93 towards the Franconia Notch State Park.  I've never been to New Hampshire before and I don't really know all that much about New Hampshire either.  What I can tell you.... it is very, very, very green and very, very, very beautiful.  The car ride was a scenic adventure in itself.

We arrived at the Flume Slide parking lot and began our trek to the Liberty Spring Trail that would take us up the mountainside to the Franconia Ridge Trail, which is part of the 2,181 mile Appalachian Trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine.  The weather was damp and cool with an occasional sprinkling of rain.  We dressed warmly but as soon as we began the 3,000+ foot climb to the ridge, we stripped off our rain jackets and enjoyed the misty conditions.  This trail isn't an easy Sunday stroll.  There are multiple river crossings, steep steps made of boulders, slippery tree roots... but we loved the heart-pumping challenge.

We arrived at the Liberty Spring campsite and were surprised to see wooden decks suspended over the steep mountainside... what a fun place to camp!  And quite a deal at $8 per person, per night.  The 2.6 mile approach isn't easy, especially if you're carrying all your camping gear but the campsites would be worth the trouble.  Anyone want to camp here with us later this summer?

We made it to the top of Mt Liberty in just under 3 hours... 4 miles in over 3,000 feet of elevation gain.  And, of course, the views are supposed to be spectacular from the peak but... we couldn't see a damn thing due to the cloud cover (I guess we'll just have to hike it again).  After a few minutes on the windy peak, we headed down the Falling Waters Trail and, let me just say... difficult is an understatement.  I've hiked some pretty difficult trails and I managed to finish 53 miles of the Wasatch 100 mile race and... this trail ranks up there as pretty damn difficult.  It was steep, there was a lot of bouldering, and the rain had made the rocks ridiculously slippery.  Lee fell once.  I had to show him up and fell twice.  The bruises today are pretty gnarly.  But we had a wonderful time.  And we were greeted with a gorgeous waterfall as we neared the bottom.

This waterfall was breathtaking.  See Lee there in the corner?  It was pretty big, too.  I imagine on a warm summer day this hike would be packed with people.  Lee and I didn't see a soul while we were there.  It was serene.   But not quite warm enough to take a dip. 

We managed 13.5 miles before we made it back to the car.  We were a muddy mess but that didn't stop us from grabbing a beer and dinner at the Lucky Dog Tavern in Plymouth, NH.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful 'Adventure Sunday' with the love of my life.

As we were driving home, we both felt better about living in Boston with such a beautiful wilderness just 2.5 hours from where we live.  It's no Wasatch National Forest, but it'll do. 

Do you like to camp?  I know it isn't for everybody but I love it.  I love being outdoors.  I love campfires.  I love snuggling in a tent.   I love waking up to the sounds of the forest.  I can't wait for our first camping adventure in New England!


  1. it sounds (and looks) absolutely beautiful! a perfect sunday...i would definitely agree!

  2. AHHHHHH this place looks amazing! I love your freckles!

  3. YOU are too cute, and I am officially jealous of your Sunday! I want to explore the wilderness too!!


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