Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unpacking? Nah. To The Mountains!

In addition to being move-into-the-apartment week, it is also Alex’s vacation week, because he starts work on Monday. So we’re trying to mix in some fun with the unpacking and errand-running.

Yesterday we took advantage of our newfound proximity to the White Mountains, heading up I-93 around lunchtime. To our delight, we found that we now live an hour from Lincoln, a kind of gateway town to the Whites, and therefore about an hour and ten minutes from the trailheads in Franconia Notch.

For Brynna’s second hike (the first being our winter attempt on Mount Willard), we selected Lonesome Lake Hut, about a mile and a half from the road.

Here’s the crew in the parking lot. Jasper was very, very skeptical about wearing his pack, which he hasn’t practiced with in awhile, but we wanted him to carry his own water.

Off we go!

The walk to the hut was lovely—we had a perfect day, bright and sunny in the 60s. Brynna looked around, chattered away, and shrieked occasionally in an attempt to draw out the local wildlife. Jasper eeyore-d his way up the trail under his pack (which was not heavy), sticking close to my side and looking up at me pathetically whenever he encountered a rock or log that he needed to surmount. We think he wasn’t sure how the pack would act if he leapt over things as usual, so we just encouraged him with lots of praise and occasional boosts to the hindquarters.

When we hit the edge of the lake and got our first gorgeous view over to the ridge, we were disappointed that Brynna seemed completely unimpressed. We found out why a few minutes later, though. As Alex arrived at the hut, he felt Brynna’s pacifier fall down his back. Removing the pack, we were met with this sight:

She snoozed for about half an hour as we relived Jasper of the dreaded pack and had a snack.

Then she woke up and we went and had a look out over Franconia Ridge:

I also sat down on the walkway there and gave Brynna a snack, which is definitely the most beautiful place we’ve ever nursed!

Then I took Brynna into the hut and signed the guestbook, which she will be able to look up when she returns (perhaps under her own power!).

And then we took a last photo looking out over the lake.

The descent was quick and easy. We let Jasper go without his pack, and he bounded along very happily, including a couple of swims as we circumnavigated the lake.

So, a very successful outing for the whole family, and we were back in time for dinner. We are thrilled to be living so close to the mountains (even closer than we were at Dartmouth!), and anticipate lots of these short trips in our future.

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