Day 147 – August 1 – 15.8 miles – Kinsman Notch to Whitehouse Brook Stealth Camp
Elevation Change: 9551 feet
In the morning, Zeus made pancakes for the Tramily. A very delicious surprise.
Bookie gave us a ride back to the trail head and we got back on trail.
The trail climbed steeply out of the parking lot. After the climb the trail went up and down several small hills. Gradually gaining elevation the farther we went.
The trail was a little more rugged and it slowed us down a little.
4.5 miles into the day we came to the east peak of Mt Wolf, where there was a small view.
After going down the other side of Mt. Wolf we began the steep and rugged climb up Kinsman mountain.
About halfway up, we came a flat spot that contained Harrington pond. It was a nice little break from the strenuous climb. Zeus made a video.
After we left the pond the trail resumed its steep climb up Kinsman.
The view at the top was stunning. We dropped our packs and took a break.
I looked over at Stoat and noticed he had tears running down his face. He was overcome by the beauty and the specialness of the moment. The day before we started the trail, a Thru hiker by the name of Cambo told Stoat there may be a time where he might tear up. I guess this was that time.
Not long after we got there, a few other hikers showed up. A few day hikers and the father son team of Re-wire and Outlaw. The Tramily greeted them with a warm welcome. We hung out, talked, ate, and enjoyed the view.
After leaving the spot with the view, we came to the true summit of South Kinsman mountain. While it did not have a great view down into the valley below, it did have a great view of Franconia Ridge. The second highest ridgeline in the Whites.
As we traversed over to North Kinsman mountain,and then began our descent, the views of the Franconia Ridge dominated the horizon.
About halfway down the other side of the mountain, Stoat and I came to the Lonesome Lake Hut.
In the Whites, there are “huts” that are run by the AMC. The huts have bunkrooms for rent and provide fresh cooked breakfast and dinner. Averaging $140 per person per night, they are out of a thru hikers budget. They will, however, let a few thru hikers sleep on the floor and get a bite to eat if the hikers perform some sort of work. This was referred to as,” work for stay.”
The huts were a controversial subject among Thru Hikers. Because they were so expensive, hikers would refer to the AMC as the Appalachian Money Club. Some people complained that they felt as if they were looked down upon when they were in the huts.
I thought about it a little differently. The huts were not built for Thru hikers. They were built for tourists and weekend warriors. They were not “required” to do anything for Thru hikers.
We were told that a lot of the money that was made by the huts went into maintaining the trails in the Whites. The counter argument to that would be that they seemed to concentrate the maintenance efforts on the trails that led to the huts. An argument I tend to agree with.
When Stoat and I got to the hut, we decided to skip checking it out. We were tired and hungry and wanted to get to our campsite that was 2.5 miles away. For a second I though I heard Zeus’ voice come from somewhere in the hut.
A minute or two after passing the hut, we came to Lonesome Lake. It was a beautiful view. I could see why someone would want to built a hut near there.
After we left the lake, Stoat and I made quick work of the remaining miles to camp. Along the way we crossed a stream before getting to Whitehouse Brook. We briefly thought of setting up camp at the first stream, but Zeus and Flashfire were expecting us at Whitehouse Brook.
When we got the Whitehouse Brook, no one was there. We found a few suitable places to hang or hammocks and set up camp near the brook.
The brook was shallow and about 50 feet wide. All around it where large rounded river rocks.
I began to cook my food on the bank of the brook. Stoat, now walking barefoot, started to walk over to me. When he was almost to me, I saw his leg buckle and he went head over heals. As he was tumbling, it sounded like he hit his head hard on one of the large rocks that he was in the process of falling on. I let out an audible gasp. I thought for sure that we suddenly had a big problem. After Stoat came to a stop, he just laid there for a second or two. He was conscious, and seemed to be going through an emergency check list. Bleeding?… No. Anything broken?… No. Head trauma?… No. He was okay. The sound that I heard was a large rock shifting into another large rock as he fell.
After making sure he was okay, I went back to cooking my food.
Zeus and Flashfire never showed. I think that they may have camped at the first stream after the hut.
Hopefully the amazing weather stays as good as it had been. Tomorrow we hike the Franconia Ridge!