Friday, August 04, 2017

Hiking the Whites - On to the north!

Of course, we needed to get to New Hampshire before we could hike. After consulting with Traci and David, we settled on a plan. They'd fly into Newark late on Thursday, we'd pick them up on Friday morning, and we'd head north to begin the hike on Saturday. Accordingly, we made reservations at their hotel and drove the first leg on Thursday afternoon.

The vagaries of 21st century air travel soon threw a monkey wrench in our plans. After a late departure from Denver, our companions were stuck in Washington, with no way to get to Newark. A quick change in plans rerouted them to Boston, so we struck north in the morning and braved the congestion of the north east to pick them up. Eventually all worked out, and we succeeded in getting the four of us, and all of our gear, into the trusty Subaru.

David and Traci settle in for the ride north.
To reach the AMC Highland Center, our home base, we passed through Franconia Notch, the westernmost of the three "notches" that funnel traffic through the Whites. Franconia Notch travels past impressive mountains on both sides. To the right, we could see Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette, two of the peaks we'd hike over the next day. And on the left, impressive rock walls loomed up - very different from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Yup, got some pretty nice peaks in NH!
The Highland Center didn't disappoint. A comfortable, modern structure with an old-time mountain lodge look, it's simply appointed and comfortable. Dinner and breakfast are included with the rate, and the clientele's fashion leans heavily towards hiking boots and fleece. The AMC runs daily shuttles to popular trailheads, so it's a perfect base for exploring the Whites.

The Highland Center
After checking in, checking our gear, and stocking up on a few snacks, it was time to enjoy dinner (an excellent buffet), and relax a little before turning in. Our shuttle left at 9 AM the next day - our adventure was nearly upon us!
Carmel and I relax before the big day.
Next - The Adventure Begins

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