Sunday October 9th – Summiting Owls Head and Beer at the Loj

This weekend had easily the nicest weather I’ve ever experienced in the White Mountains; both days were 75F, sunny, and clear with a nice breeze and nights around 50F.  It was also a great opportunity for Sarah and I to spend some quality time together.  It was actually the first overnight trip we’ve done together (not counting the winter) and also the first time with the Osprey backpack I bought her for her birthday over a year ago (fail).

Life has been crazy lately with the distractions that come with school/work/blog/friends/city-life so we had a great time hiking, talking, hanging out at camp playing cards, and eating a ridiculous amount of food.  Not having any time pressures was also great, there were no meetings or parties to run off to, nothing was on the to-do list, there was no internet, no texting, no facebook, no email, and no cell phone service.  Basically it was fantastic and for the most part nobody got hurt, RIP my achilles tendon for a few days probably.

6:00 - Various foods for breakfast after sleeping almost 12 hours.

7:00 - Breaking down the tent so we can get the 13 mile hike started.

8:00 - What Sarah didn't know was that we were actually hiking to the gun show. Side note - the Osprey 40L is the most legit piece of gear I own, huge props to Osprey.

9:00 - The trail is used pretty infrequently and it hadn't yet been assessed for damage after Hurricane Irene so it was a mixture of a trail and a bushwhack (no trail).

10:00 - At the base of Owls head. I actually tweaked my achilles tendon pretty good on the way from the campsite so this is me putting on Sarah's bomber ankle brace. The 2nd hike in a row for her where she's used her ankle brace on someone else.

11:00 - Summit of Owls Head, not much of a view but the rock slide on the route up had some spectacular views of the Franconia Range.

12:00 - View of the Franconia Range from the rock slide on the way down from the summit of Owl's Head.

1:00 - Where we chose to eat lunch at the base of Owls Head before our 8-ish mile hike out. Thank goodness it was mostly flat because my achilles tendon was still bothering me. It felt like a crab had clamped down on either side of the tendon each time I stepped. The ankle brace helped a ton though (thanks Sarah).

2:00 - Sarah crossing one of the few dozen stream crossings over the past two days.

3:00 - The last 4-5 miles were almost entirely flat, pretty much a hallway of trees with a bedding of fall leaves.

4:00 - Leaf Peepers on the trail near the end, i.e. city-slickers that invade the country in the late fall in order to snap photos of the foliage (peep the leaves). A guy asked us in amazement, "Did you really camp out there?", we said yes, and he said "So you like pitched a tent and everything?!" and we said yes again and went on our way. A perfect example of a Leaf Peeper.

5:00 - Back at the Tufts Mountain Club Loj waiting for dinner and a ride home.

6:00 - A full chicken straight out of the oven courtesy of the awesomely righteous Peak Weekend Caretakers.

7:00 - Our ride was a bit late do we decided to make a beer run; Tuckerman's Headwall, some of the most legit local beer in the East.

8:00 - The woodstove from the 2nd Tufts Loj which may or may not have contributed to its burning down. We got a ride home from a Mountain Club Alum '74 who stops by the Loj pretty frequently. We stopped by his cabin that he and his TMC friends had built once they outgrew the Loj. Basically it's a super legit bachelor bad in the woods, a great place for dance parties or axe murdering depending on what you're into.

I’m super pumped about finishing out my 48 peaks, especially after having just finished a stellar weekend up north.  I plan to do Mt. Isolation next weekend followed by my final peak Mt. Carrigan the weekend after that.  Maybe after that I can get a life besides hiking in NH 🙂

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