When Scar and I woke up this morning, we had no idea how we were going to get back to the trail since Scar’s wife had driven their rental car to Boston. We did know, however, that we were going to do some damage to the hotel’s continental breakfast before leaving. The Holiday Inn Express breakfast is famous for their huge gooey sweet warm delicious fresh iced cinnamon rolls, so I ate three of them with coffee while uploading pictures before breakfast and after breakfast. I had one more for dessert.
After packing and checking out of the hotel, Scar and I started walking down the street towards the intersection of US 3 and NH 112 with the idea that he would hitch north on US 3 to Franconia Notch and I would hitch west on NH 122 to Kinsman Notch. Before we got very far, an older SUV stopped and the driver asked us if we wanted a ride. The driver was a super nice guy named Limping Eagle, a shuttle driver that was currently helping out at Chet’s place, so we climbed aboard. He drove Scar to the Liberty Springs (A.T.) trailhead parking lot where I thanked Scar for his hospitality and said goodbye. Sadly, I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. Then, after a quick stop for gas, Limping Eagle drove me down Lost River Road to Kinsman Notch where, at 10:00 am, I took off down the Kinsman Ridge Trail (A.T.).
I only had one mountain to climb today, but it was a 1,600-foot climb over 4.6 miles to the summit of Mt Wolf. The climb wasn’t particularly steep, but it was slow going over a lot of roots and rocks with some bog bridges thrown in for good measure. On the other hand, the weather was beautiful. Around 1:00 pm, I reached the short spur trail to the mostly wooded summit of Mt Wolf where I had a nice view of Franconia Ridge through the trees.
The descent from Mt Wolf was slightly steeper than the climb, but still it was more time-consuming than difficult. Much like the morning terrain, the trail was very rocky with few interesting waypoints along the way. Powerline right of ways cutting through the landscape make me sad, but I had to admit that the view from the one I crossed today was stunning.
At 4:30 pm, I was the first hiker to arrive at the Eliza Brook Shelter where I intended to spend the night. This shelter looked practically new and was quite beautiful. There was a notice inside from the volunteers that built it explaining how they had lovingly hand peeled the 400-pound pine logs and hoisted them into place. There was also a plea to hikers (which I hope they will heed) not to discredit their hard work by defacing the shelter with graffiti. So far, it was pristine.
Being first at the shelter, I inspected the available tent sites and found a beautiful spot high above the Eliza Brook. I was just finishing my setup when Malt and Jukebox came walking into camp, so I directed them to a tent pad that I thought would be ideal for their big tent. As time went on, more and more hikers started arriving at the shelter so, after dinner, I walked over to see who was here and to introduce myself. It was a nice group and we talked for a while about the Omelet Man and the descent from Mt Moosilauke. Notably, this is where I was introduced to Sasquatch, an environmental studies teacher, Shiver, a flip-flop hiker who started at the Appalachian Trail train station in Pawling, NY, and her hiking companion Peanut, a guy from Germany that was hiking the A.T. on a temporary tourist visa.
Now my camp chores are complete and I’m trying to get caught up on some of my journals. Today was reasonably easy, but in looking at my A.T. guide, tomorrow is going to be a doozy as I’ll be heading above the 4,000-foot elevation mark again. I don’t often have the opportunity to camp next to a brook, and the sound of rushing water makes for a great night’s sleep.
Date: July 30, 2017
Starting Location: NH 112, Kinsman Notch
Ending Location: Eliza Brook Shelter
AT Miles Today: 7.5
AT Miles To Date: 1,807.9