After an entire week of sweating my face off around Boston, Rob, Shane and I figured it was about time to head back up north for some cooler climes, fresh air and good old fashioned exercise. The plan came together at the absolute last minute, with details lacking finalization until some late hour of Friday night. Per usual, we reasoned that we’d better stock up on calories, so we hit the town in search of beers and burgers. Around midnight we skulked back to our respective apartments, set our alarms for 6:30 AM and crashed. Shortly after 7 AM we all rallied and set off for Lincoln, NH.
Freshly warmed up from Mt. Monadnock, and thoroughly convinced that there’s no ski-able snow left in New England, Alex and I geared up (read: had huge dinners and a few beers) and rolled up to Lincoln, NH to crash early and get a fast start for a long hike in Crawford Notch. We wanted to do something long and fairly challenging, with some decent rewards, but avoid the Memorial Day hordes. This turned out to be the perfect solution: the plan called for nearly 17 miles, over 8000′ elevation change, it’s remote compared to much of the Whites, and our early start and rapid pace nearly guaranteed few encounters with any crowds.
View Traverse of the Bigelows in a larger map
If you’ve spent more than 10 minutes on this website, then you owe it to yourself to visit this place. The photos, words and other media which follow surely do no justice to the greatness of the Bigelow Range. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Lemme take this one from the top…
Some of you may recall that the plan for this trip was formulated some weeks ago and only recently were we able to pull it off. It’s not the longest drive, but from Boston it’s far enough that it requires some planning and some time. An uninterrupted drive from Boston to Stratton, ME via the scenic route is projected to take 5.5 hours. Of course there is no such thing as an uninterrupted drive from Boston. Additionally, it was a perfect October weekend. Combined with my inability to be out of bed when I had planned to be out of it, we ended up arriving quite a bit later than we had planned: around 10 PM. The last leg of the trip was conducted after dark which was actually a lot cooler than we thought it would be: you really get the feel that you’re in the middle of no where once you cross out of New Hampshire and into Maine.