Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012.09.02 North Kinsman - Views From a Different Angle

So often when we hike in or near Franconia Notch we will catch views of Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette from various outlooks or summits.  That would also hold true during today's hike.  Somehow though, our views of Lincoln/Lafayette today were different; more spectacular.  That will be evident in photos shown later in this post.

As a side note, we stayed at the Franconia Inn the night before this hike.  It is a mere 2.2 miles from the trail head so it was very convenient.  This inn is a great option for a place to stay when enjoying any of the Franconia Notch sites.  I am not a big fan of B&B's but this one is different and larger than most.  It deserves consideration if you are looking for a place to stay.  I also appreciated the fact that of dozens of places we contacted on this Labor Day weekend, the Franconia Inn was the only property willing to let us stay for just a single night.  The restaurant is also excellent!

Back to a discussion of North Kinsman.  This is a hike I knew little about but it is on the list of 4,000 footers we are working to accomplish (unofficially, so to speak) so we decided to give it a try.  At about 3,400 feet of elevation change and 8.6 miles in length it was our greatest challenge in recent weeks.  Those of you who follow my blog know that we have been pacing ourselves by slowly increasing the elevation change and length of our hikes as one of us continues to recover from knee and back pain.  With about 2-miles left to finish the hike today, the knee and back pain reared its ugly head again.  Our pace was brought to a crawl and the total round trip took us a whopping 8-hrs.  Mr. & Mrs. Slowsky were again living up to their name.  We are expecting to hike Mt. Jefferson with some friends in 2-weeks so we may need to take a week off to rest our aching bones before that hike.

On to some photos starting with our trail head photos to begin the day.

 An old sugar shack early in the hike.  It appears that it actually may be still in use each spring time.

 Our first water crossing with the trail leading straight ahead.  The hike from this point on is a pretty steady climb all the way to the summit.  There are some flats early on when the hike follows some old logging roads but, most of the hike is a continuous climb.  The last half mile to the summit after reaching the Kinsman Ridge trail is a bit steeper but it is not all that difficult, save for the fact that your muscles are tiring at that point.
 The photo does not do the beautiful green moss on these rocks justice.

On the descent we took the Bald Knob spur to, of all things, a bald knob.  The views were very nice so it is definitely worth taking this extra trek of about .4 mile RT (photos coming below).

This photo and the next are of a leaf that appeared suspended in midair.  It was caught on an invisible web and hanging in the middle of the trail. (Sorry that my flash washed out the leaf's details in the next shot. I should have turned off the flash.  Still learning my new camera.)  

 Beautiful petals on a flower?  No, this was a mushroom.  Interesting...

 We have reached the Kinsman Ridge trail and have completed 3.7 miles of our hike.  We have about .4 miles left to go to the summit.

This and the next few shots are from the summit (actually a lookout near the summit) of North Kinsman. 

Left to right in the background you can see the summit of Cannon Mountain (back side of the ski area), Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Lincoln and Little Haystack.  Midway between the background and foreground you can see a tiny piece of Lonesome Lake.  In the foreground the two brown round top peaks are Mt Suesfeet.

 I tried to take the same photo as Sue did and it just did not come out the same.  LOL!!!

 On our descent we took the spur trail to Bald Knob.  From here I am looking back towards North Kinsman.  The next couple of photos are also from Bald Knob.

 There is a second spur trail we took on our descent that led to a flume.  The trail is not very well traveled and views of the flume are hard to get.  This photo and the next one are from the edge of the flume (I was too chicken to get any closer).  I will say it is rather deep as I could not even see the bottom.

North Kinsman is a hike I would recommend and one which I will definitely do again.



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