Day 3, Pemigewassett Loop

Guyot shelter to Lincoln Woods parking area = 11 miles

We approached the car at the Lincoln Woods parking area just as a strong wind dumped real rain on us. Out came our umbrellas and 5 minutes later, we were sitting in the car, dry, sore, and spent.
We did 11 miles today.
We had left the car at 2 PM two days ago, and here it was 2 PM two days later. Not bad for 25 miles in the Whites, backpacking. The Whites are always tough, doesn’t seem to matter where you hike.

The day began for us before 6 AM, when brilliant light shot directly into the Guyot shelter.
Again the routine of boiling water, making coffee, and eating our cereals and milk. We were packed and walking by 7:15 AM today.
Back up the steep 0.2 mile to the Bondcliff trail, our path down to the Pemigewassett River 3,300 feet below. Going to be a big down hill of a day.

But not before a morning climb up to the top of Mount Bond, at 4,714 feet a lesser known but impressive 4,000 footer.

The sun was still bright, the views were astounding, and our eyes met for a knowing moment when Auntie Mame said, “how about a coffee break right up here? It would be perfect!”

We broke out the filter, did our morning boil up, and sat smiling within the ultimate coffee shop, the summit of Mt. Bond.

Even at this early time of day, the skies were darkening to the west, and we hoped to heck we’d escape rain, or worse, lightning. No matter, my morning pepperoni, cheese, mayo and bagel sandwich was just right for me. We’d make it.

Eventually we were back along the Pemi River, motoring along toward the car on an abandoned rail road bed. Here is what is was like to walk fast, on the flats:

After we made it to the car, I wanted to head the 5 miles west to Lincoln and visit with Chet, a young man in a wheelchair who ran a low key hiker respite/hostel in the residential section of town, a block away from Main St. MeGaTex stayed there on August 13, 2007 after a long 16 mile day where we had started from the larking lot on Rt. 112 at Kinsman Notch. It had rained all morning that day. If you want to read about what a 16 mile day is like backpacking this killer section in the Whites , go here, and it is all true:

The place was dark, no one was around, but I rang the doorbell anyway. A couple of large dogs started barking, and I heard a shout from the dark, and then Chet wheeled up to the door, in all his tie-dyed glory. Chet remembered me, and we shook hands warmly.
I wanted to leave Chet some funds to help put him right with the 2008 campaign, and handed him $40 , which pleased him to no end. There have been very few times when I felt so satisfied giving away my cash. Chet told us to go into the garage, and look around, where a new deck was now on the rear of the remodeled bunkhouse. No one was there, it was super clean, and felt like church to me.

I wandered past the 6 plywood bunks, the couches, and the desk. The new porch was beautiful, the yard was now fenced all the way around.
Auntie Mame was reading the graffiti on the woodwork when she called out, “Here’s your name!” And there it was, no here it is, along with the rest of the MeGaTex crew- Bird Dawg, Queso, General Lee, Richard Wizard, and Lifetraveler:

The AT thing makes so much sense to me today. The connections go on, the White mountains are here for as long as forever really reaches.

This Loop trip was major for Marcia and me. We did the same loop 38 years ago, both together then as well. We are even stronger now, in many ways. It took us one less day this time to do the loop. Back then we were in our early 20’s, and to be here now is a very hopeful thing. Morning soreness is with us now, but as V8 has so eloquently put it, we really are are just “ Born to hike”. At least for now, its good enough to me to just keep getting out and sleep, eat, and walk outside, for days at a time.

One thought on “Day 3, Pemigewassett Loop

  1. Sheri

    Hey Uncle Tom – I am so enjoying your blogging, as I equally enjoyed your TJ – and Auntie Mame’s and V8’s!! I tried to view your video just now (7/12) but it said no longer available. Perhaps I can go directly to YouTube to find it. I will try that later. Ever since my son backpacked in The Presidentials with his Venture Crew (57 CT) 7 years ago (returning several times over the years, backpacking in The Whites) I have wanted to hike too! My exciting news is that my boys (18&22) and I hiked a trail in the Whites just this past week. We drove up from CT and took exit 35 – off I-93 – to Rte 3 then 302. We camped on Zealand Rd, off 302 just a mile down from the intersection w/ Rte 3. We drove down 302, after setting up camp, and spotted a moose. We continued onto 16N (driving still – not hiking yet!) to Glenn Ellis Falls. Then back south to the Kancamagus Hwy for a nice scenic ride back to I-93, then our camp site on 302. I mention this because – I’m just reading your blog now of hiking in that area w/Mame and I can picture it so clearly. I love the “Kanc” and the Whites but haven’t been up here since my childhood with my mom, dad and sisters- (though we did go up all too briefly when my boys were small) Being my first time out I wanted to take it easy. We hiked up Sugarloaf, the trail head being only .2 mi from our campsite! A beautiful day and a beautiful summit! You, Mame and V8 have inspired me and I hope to either Thru or at least Section hike the AT sometime (soon). I am 51 now, so I figure I have at least 6 years or sooner to began! The timing still isn’t right. Anyway, pls keep on blogging, (and hiking) I know there are a lot of people reading your blogs with much interest, as am I!! I hope you know how “famous” you are! You write so beautifully!! Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts and not being afraid to be so honest about your emotions! Pls tell Auntie Mame that “Sheri from CT” says Hi and I’m glad she’s getting back out there with Sinage! I am a loyal follower and frequent guest book signer! (I just noticed she has more entries posted. I am looking forward to reading!) Take care Tom.


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