We were aiming to complete another hike today before the predicted rain arrives in the early afternoon.
Hence, we were ready to start hiking shortly after 7am. There were quite a few people by the parking at the trailhead so others may have the same idea.
Here is an early morning self portrait at the Lafayette Campground of the other side of I93 which is where today's trails would commence.
We were both feeling our leg muscles from yesterday's hikes and with 4-5 hours of hiking planned Di opted for an easier trail with much less climbing. Hans chose a tougher loop trail as it was a beautiful morning and he didn't want to leave the White mountains and only completion of 1 significant hike. Furthermore, Hans' hike was the second hike that the Forest Rangers recommended.
This is Hans' completed loop which consisted of parts of 3 different hikes, Hi Cannon Trail up towards Cannon Mountains, then a small stretch west on Kinsman Trail and finally Lonesome Lake Trail around the Lonsome Lake and Lonesome Lake Hut. Not long, 9.3 km, not fast 4hrs 44 mins, but few hikes can be completed quickly in this high mountainous environment.
The Lonesome Lake Trail is proudly brought to you by... Again.
And off we go. Or Hans goes...
The start of the Hi-Cannon trail had more traditional hiking surface of dirt and random rocks. It looked nice above where the sun was trying to break through the trees.
The AMC had gone budget with their signs at the first junction. Here is one side...
And here is the other. Hans continued towards the Kinsman Trail.
The environment appears to be very harsh to trees. There were many trees there in the forest which had fallen victim to wind, wet, landslides whatever it was. This tree just looked fantastic and was still very much alive.
Right of a sudden, the forest opened up and you could see all the way down to I93 and the trailhead where we parked our car. The entry to Lafayette Campground is obviously on this side of the highway and there is a tunnel for pedestrians or hikers to connect the two.
Hans rounded a corner and there it was. A ladder. After a stress test (shaking the ladder to ensure that it didn't move too much), it was an easy climb up.
Looking down the ladder.
Suddenly there was a big rock overlooking east and south east. Time for a break as the views were spectacular.
Looking south / southeast.
Now hold on. There was an approximately 30 degrees angle of this rock and the angle was pointing down, with nothing to prevent a slide. Better hold on tight and not go too close to the edge.
An opening in the vegetation revealed Lonesome Lake and you can see a glimpse of the hut there as well.
At the junction of Hi-Cannon and Kinsman trails, the sign definitely had seen more prosperous times. What did the sign say again? Luckily, Hans is carrying a map so no problem to figure out where to go...
There was serious serious rock hopping down from that junction to the northern start of the Lonesome Lake Trail. No pictures as Hans was too preoccupied with keeping his balance and not falling on his backside, although occasional the latter assisted him in "hiking" down the rocks.
Lonesome Lake Trail still had some rocks coming down, but this was very easy compared to the earlier section.
Suddenly, the nature of the path changed again and consisted now of two parallel planks. Here is a plank junction with 3 entry / exit points.
The plank path circled most of the Lonesome Lake. Hans assumed that it could be very wet in the grounds here at times and that planks were probably the best solution.
Lake and planks...
The Lonesome Lake Hut. Not quite a neat as the Greenleaf Hut that Hans visited yesterday, but nevertheless a welcome site on a trail. The Appalachian Trail also passes this hut, coming here from the west, and hikers can find overnight accommodation here if they so wish.
Of course, Hans bought himself a coffee. Here he is taking in the view while enjoying his hot drink of choice.
Here are a couple of Lonesome Lake photos. As you can see, the lake is dammed. Cannon Mountain in the background.
The Appalachian Trail only followed the Lonesome Lake for 100 meters or so before taking off south on the Cascade Brook Trail. That trail was not on Hans plans and he continued on the Lonesome Lake Trail.
Note the warning about a washed out bridge on the AT. It is a tough environment here. Don't know about Fishin Jimmy and why he got a trail named after himself.
Meanwhile when we last left Di back at Lafeyette Campground, she decided to hike an easier trail. Di found one - the Pemi Trail to Echo Lake, largely following the valley floor, Pemigawassett River and I93.
After about 500 meters on the hike trail Di turned around and chose instead to hike the bike path to the same locations - but slightly longer. Why? At 7am it was obvious that no one else had yet used the trail and it was not much fun walking through about 100 cobwebs.
The bike path was excellent - 1 car width wide and again all alone. The first people sighted were fisherman at Profile Lake.
Profile Lake was a nice little spot that collects in the "notch" below a massive granite cliff. The cliff Is known as Old Man due to the very obvious face profile in the natural rock formation - that was until Old Man collapsed in May 2011. The cliff is still there but the face has gone.
The lake is nice as the borrowed photo below shows.
Given the smooth asphalt surface and easier climbs Di was soon at the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway. It did not open until 9am so Di continued a bit further to Echo Lake. Lovely day and some fisherman were making the most of it - landing some nice trout. If only we could have one!
Back to the aerial tramway for the first ride up at 9.15am. It lifts to just over 4,000 feet (about 1,300 meters). What you see as the top in this picture is about half way, the summit is beyond the rise and not visible. It was a great ride and the views were good. On a clear day apparently you can glimpse Canada - but not today.
All up just over 10km hike for Di but not nearly as strenuous as Hans' hike. Still when we meet up at 11.45pm we are both tired and again feeling our sore leg muscles. No issue for tomorrow - a long trip in the car to Bar Harbor, which is in Maine and that doesn't require any hiking! Hopefully!
Back to the ranch and our housekeeper was again artistic with towels. This time a bunny. Very cute.
At noon it was not yet raining so Di cooled off with another swim in the nice pool whilst Hans showered and reviewed photos. A quiet afternoon followed.
Around 3pm, the rain arrived as per forecast. Definitely a night to stay in!
Verdict; really good. We were sitting outside in our porch with the rain all around us enjoying a damn fine steak dinner. Not only were the steaks top notch, the mash for being of the microwave variety was surprisingly good. The corn worked well to compliment as perhaps a token vegetable.
Well, Di looks pleased here on the photo. Hans meal in front.
A couple of drinks later, we were ready to call it quits. Good night.