10/10/2009 – 10/12/2009
On October 10th, at 6:30 in the morning, 10 scouts and 6 adults met at the Scout Locker to embark on another trip of high adventure. This time we were not going to nice warm Cape Cod; instead we were heading north, 170 miles north.
Our mighty group was setting out to climb three major peaks in the White Mountains, including Mt. Lafayette which is almost an entire mile above sea level. Greg was the leader of this trip, responsible for getting common gear packed everyone in their cars and on the road by 7:30 am.
When we got to the campsite in Franconia around 11am, it was cool and lightly raining. We setup quickly set up our tents and ate lunch. Our first excursion was to be a short hike. In preparation, Greg passed out the “GORP” (good old raisins and peanuts) for an energy snack and we made our way up to Lonesome Lake which is just over a 3 mile hike down and back.
Returning to the campsite, we started a fire and began cooking dinner. Unlike most camping trip meals, this meal actually contained food other than pasta! The menu was hotdogs, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and beans. The beans and hotdogs were extremely well cooked. Our potatoes and corn were cooked in the fire pit wrapped in tin foil and depending on how close to the fire your corn or potato was, well let’s just say that some potatoes were as crunchy as a nice crisp apple.
That first night everyone fell asleep fairly early knowing that we had a long hike ahead of us in the morning. Sunday morning, thanks to a watch alarm failure, we woke up an hour late. Greg motivated everyone and we made breakfast and got our gear ready by 9:30 am. Then we began the 3 mile hike to the top of Little Haystack (4,200 ft.). We traveled along the Falling Waters trail and crossed over flowing water many times. The first crossing was probably the hardest because the stream was about 15 feet wide and the rocks were very wet, which made them slippery. As we neared the summit, the winds started to increase and fog rolled in. However once we were on the top of Little Haystack the clouds blew away from us and we could literally see for miles. We were all silent in absorbing the incredible view. We took a short break at the summit for lunch, and when everyone had eaten, we continued on the 1.7 mile long Ridge Trail which took us across the summit of Mt. Lincoln (5,089 ft.) and finally to the summit of Lafayette (5,260 ft.).
At the top of the mountain the winds were fierce. Mr. Hillman quickly took a picture of us with the Troop 28 flag. Immediately afterward, we hurried down the trail to get to the tree line for some protection from the wind. We followed the Greenleaf trail to an AMC hut and we waited there for any stragglers — who shall remain nameless — to catch up. There Mr. Hillman, Greg, Mr. Ackely, and Mr. Jackisch decided to send half of the group ahead while the other half stayed behind with Reagan who had injured ankle. The lead group managed to make it to our campsite 3 miles away just as it was getting dark.
Group 1 started building a fire to warm up and make preparations for dinner. The second group hiked for around an hour in the dark guided only by headlamps. When they arrived at camp, we all breathed a sigh of relief and we quickly fired up the stoves to get the water boiling for the freeze dried food. Everyone ate fairly quickly and went to bed. It had been a very long day.
The next morning, Monday, we all took our time breaking camp, folding tents and packing up bags. After breakfast, we all piled into cars and drove to the Flume Gorge. The Flume Gorge is a geological formation that was created in the Triassic period when cracks in the granite crust formed and lava started slowly rising up through them. When the lava cooled off, it formed basalt rock. The basalt rock eroded away much quicker than the granite, which is how the gorge was created. After we trekked through the gorge, we ate lunch, and headed for home and the best long hot shower this historian has had in some time.
Derek Benson, Historian