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Hike-NH.com - View topic - The Bonds + !! 7/29-30/2007

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 The Bonds + !! 7/29-30/2007 
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Location: Lancaster, NH Avatar: On the trail again
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 The Bonds + !! 7/29-30/2007
Dates Hiked:
July 29-30, 2007

Trails Hiked:
Zealand, Twinway, Bondcliff, Wilderness, Lincoln Woods Trails

Total Distance:
20.1 miles

Difficulty:
Moderate to a seasoned backpacker. Strenuous to one who is not.

Conditions:
Ideal, perfect,& tremendous!

Special Required Equipment:
A tent, pad, 40° sleeping bag, camera, great food, and 2 liters of ice cold Long Trail Double Bag!

Trip Report:
Marianne, ghostdog, & I met at Lincoln Woods at 8:45 AM Sunday, July 29, 2007 as planned, spotted my car, then drove in her SUV to the end of Zealand Road in Twin Mtn (aka Carroll). Lots of hikers were returning from their hikes and the hut, others were preparing to start their adventures. We geared up, hit the trail, and trail talking to all that passes us. A stop at the hut for leftovers and to re-fill our water needs for the day. Up to the exciting Zeacliff with its magnificent 180° views of the Presis, all mountains east, and as far south as Passaconaway and Whiteface in the Sandwich Mountain Wilderness.

Now that we were up on the ridge, the hard work was over and the great fun begins. On to Zealand Mtn (4260' on the list) with the most unique summit sign in the Whites. Then down and up to the 4580" summit of Guyot (not on the list). One breaks out of tree line here and the trail and the summit becomes a spectacular scene of mountains behind mountains with breathtaking 360° views!

At about 6:30, we arrived at the tent overflow site. Marianne ate a home made rice & veggie dinner, ghostdog her crunchies, while I decided to have frieze dried spicy Thai veggies & noodles with 10 oz of cooked frozen shrimp. Yum! I was to spent the night here at the overflow in my tent, while Marianne chose to sleep in the wonderful log hand built shelter. This has a most pleasant feeling, complete with a porch and two mini log chairs.

I set up the tent and camp while waiting for Marianne to return from her preparations at the shelter. A hiker walked by and said he was going to West Bond to watch the sunset. I said we were going there also. He said the caretaker would also join us. Soon Marianne arrived and we slack packed (water, headlamps, & cameras in fanny packs) up the 4540' mountain. Seven of us in all spent an hour watching the sun set into the many majestic mountain ranges in the west. We could see the entire Franconia Ridge, a mere 6 miles away, easily point out Moosilauke, 17 miles from us, Smuggler's Notch, Mt Mansfield, 69 miles away, White Face Mtn, 66 miles away, Jay Peak, at 73 miles, and 81 miles into Canada with a clear view of Sommet Rond (Roundtop 3156') Sutton Mtns, and Mt Orford, 85 miles into Quebec!

Our lucky 6 made their way to the shelter for their evening while ghostdog and I stayed up for hours watching the cloudless Milky Way with its trillions of bright stars. Oh, so very beautiful! In the morning I had a bar instead of the oatmeal I brought, broke camp and ghostdog & I made our way .3 mile to the tent platforms and the shelter to re-fill our water for the day's fantastic journey. Marianne said she had delightful fellowship with the other hikers and had a huge smile! We bid the others happy trails and started our new day's adventure.

It was a huff & puff up the Bondcliff Trail to the mighty & incredible Mount Bond. At 4698' (on the list!) more wondrous 360° views patiently waited for us. It is actually difficult to pull oneself away from witnessing the beauty in every direction -- regardless how many times it is beheld. We started down to the col, then up to The Cliffs, as Bondcliff was formally named. Here you now are at the summit of the 4265' (yes, on the list!) Bondcliff, deep and secluded in the very heart of the Pemigewasset Wilderness, completely surrounded and engulfed with spectacular mountain views in every direction. Mountain behind mountains, behind even more mountains. It is endless! No buildings, no people, no cars, no noise, just the sounds of silence. Only the wilderness forest and the amazing mountains in every direction is seen. Then suddenly a junco chirps and lands beside us on the summit. We are not alone.

We remove our heavy backpacks to eat lunch (I had a pb & j and a bar), rest, and enjoy the awesome views. A father and his young son visit the summit before moving on to catch the other two Bonds. Marianne & I stayed a full hour and fifteen minutes. The sky starts to cloud up, a storm is forming, time to continue onward and reluctantly leave our world of paradise. Next was the longest 4.4 miles we both traveled! Even though it was about 2 hours it really seemed forever to get the the junction of Bondcliff & the Wilderness Trail. We both removed our hiking boots. Marianne wore her Teva sandals, while I wore my Crocs. The 1.8 miles to the Wilderness Trial felt even longer. We came upon a family of six who decided they were going to dig and pry out a railroad tie. Marianne reminded them they were in the Pemi Wilderness and about leave no trace ethics. They had a stern talking to and then stopped.

The day was progressing well when we reached the wilderness boundary and we were just under 3 miles from the real world. I needed a rest break while Marianne decided to move on to relate the RR tie incident to the USFS. The last 3 miles was painful in the leg muscle department and the Crocs felt so comfortable on my sore feet.

We reached the Lincoln Woods parking lot about 4 PM. I can actually say I was thankful to have reached the car. Let's see here, we are hungry, where to go for a quick, inexpensive meal. Wayne's Market was chosen for the most food for the money and to get on the road as quickly as possible. Marianne chose a small Italian sub while I could not resist a large Steak Bomb. Oh, so delightful! On to the boulevard I drive past the many trail heads with thoughts of past hikes and the present one swirling in our heads. We hugged, said farewell, and headed to the real world, our 2 days of journey and adventure ending.

On Sunday we trail talked to over 50 hikers. On Monday we saw only 11. This is my fifth backpack to the Bonds and a sixth time as a day hike the 20.1 (with a water fill stop at Guyot campsite) miles with a group last summer. One of the finest hikes out there, I would do this again in a heart beat. Care to join me next time?! See the from this event for an idea of our joy, wonder, and excitement!
Copyright © 2007 by MtnMagic. All rights reserved.

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Sat Jul 28, 2007 5:06 am
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