Three Hikes….What fun!

Note: Trail names have been used to protect the innocent

On a frosty October morn, a small contingent of the BBRC met in Fairhaven to set off on a three day hiking trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The inopportune opening of the Fairhaven Bridge caused the departure time to be delayed, and little did the party realize, that this seemingly insignificant event, was to set off a series of glitches- some good, some not so good.

The beautiful ride up to the Lonesome Lake trailhead, with only a stop off to pick up some gear, for isn't that what all BBRC members crave, went very smoothly and the gang arrived raring to go .in every sense of the word! THAT, taken care of, boots on, walking sticks ready. The mystery of the 40-pound pack ownership became evident. Bent over double to compensate for the load, and after umpteen adjustments, by the ever-resourceful "Freia" (Freia is a Norse Goddess), the group's fearless leader, "Kitchen Sink" and the rest set off. A few yards later, "Boot Spur" discovered a sharp bone on her ankle was causing a fair amount of pain. This called for an immediate "avast" with "Not Quite Right" offering to switch boots. This proved to be in vain, since a low cut model was called for. After one more gear switch, Boot Spur, the problem solved, took off leading the way, in what else, but a pair of KEENS, the BBRC footwear of choice.

Aside from the fact that Kitchen Sink unsuccessfully tried to bribe, cajole, challenge every red-blooded male passing by on the trail to relieve her of her pack, the rest of the hike to the hut was uneventful.

First to reach the Lonesome Lake Hut was Boot Spur, closely followed by "Snow White". Bruce, the hut volunteer, informed them, that since they had neglected to register as a unit, they would all be sleeping in separate huts with STRANGERS. No problemo, their early afternoon arrival at the hut, assured that they would be able to snag the "choice bunk" in their units. (Kitchen Sink was finally relieved of the pack by one of her bunkmates who nearly suffered a hernia carrying it to the bunkhouse) Another glitch here was that, although they could continue their stay at Lonesome, as planned for the following night, there would not be any food available. Even hardy rowers cannot live on peanut butter and gorp alone. Thus the sympathetic kitchen crew took pity and solved the problem by setting them up in another AMC facility.

Following a sumptuous dinner, a talk on White Mountain weather, and a rousing game of "Pass the Pig", whereby Kitchen Sink lost all her points due to the pigs rolling into a very "undignified position", it was time for lights out. It was DARK. Not unlike miners descending into the depths of the earth, the gals donned their headlamps and headed out to the bunkhouses as snowflakes gently began to fall. While the others had run into most of their bunkmates, Snow White was literally in the dark, for, aside from Bruce, the identity of her bunkmates remained a mystery. The only group of six not accounted for was that group of six men. Could it be?

Snuggled into their sleeping bags, clad in the latest merino wool long johns (get 'em at Euros), all slept peacefully throughout the 18-degree night. Promised by the hut crew a special wakeup call at 6:30, they were taken aback at the beauty of Aiden's playing of a haunting, soulful melody on her violin in the crisp barely light morn. Later, at breakfast, a flurry of activity rippled through the room as three moose were spotted at the lake and many rushed out to get a glimpse of them. It wasn't until full light when everyone returned to their sleeping quarters that Snow White found out for sure, yes, indeed, she had slept with seven men!

With only day packs containing clothing appropriate for freezing temperatures, snow flurries and predicted 40 mph winds, and, of course, a ton of gorp, the five headed out to conquer Cannon Mountain, elevation 4,100 feet. With each increase in elevation the foliage changed, as well as, the temperature. Nearing the summit was like being in Christmas Tree Land; the air was heady with the perfume of the evergreens, their boughs laden with snow. It was at that point that Kitchen Sink and Snow White, having fallen slightly behind after crossing "the ladder", were ambushed and pelted with snowballs by the others who had forged on ahead.

The vistas were absolutely spectacular but, since both the cameras, which had been brought along, were discovered to be in battery failure before even leaving the parking lot at the trailhead, the group, to compensate, took up the mantra of, "if I had a camera, I'd definitely take a picture of this" and, needless to say, Barbara Traban, whose camera's batteries probably are never allowed to run down, would have heard her name wistfully come up more than once.

Reaching the top of the observation tower a panoramic view of the Presidential Range and distant Vermont enfolded, and, as others snapped away." oh, if I only had." was murmured over and over. What could be more perfect as the snowflakes, once again, began to fall.

Since Cannon has a tram, there's a restaurant at the top, so a hot coffee and a "warm seat" was a welcome treat. Of course, coming in from the wilds in mismatched clothes and scoffing down gorp by the handful, drew a few sideward glances from those of the 'sequined fleece' set and one of horror as Kitchen Sink sat at the table taking sips from her bladder (for those not in the "know", it's a sort of water pouch with a tube that snakes around the neck). Well, as they saying goes, you had to be there..

In near hysterics, as they began their descent, any hopes of spotting a moose or, one of the reported bears, was lost as the gals bantered back and forth about possible retorts to the stares and shrieks of laughter bounced off the trees as they made their way back to Lonesome Lake Hut.

Fast forward to the "replacement hut". The Center turned out to be right down the road from the Mount Washington Hotel and was quite luxurious with hot showers, down comforters, wine and beer, not too unlike a hotel. It even had a great library, huge fireplace and GEAR. After dinner, seated on cushy sofas all enjoyed a movie before turning in. The food. yummy and plentiful.

Day three dawned bright, sunny and warm, by comparison, and not wanting to press their luck, for all had come through the adventure thus far unscathed, the girls opted for a moderate hike to a spectacular waterfall before heading home. Reminiscing over and over of all the great times they had experienced and planning their next venture, tired but proud, they crossed the bridge back into Fairhaven.

Well, that's all folks. unless you want to hear about Larry, alias "Trail Dan". For that you have a choice of the long version, or the short version.