[at-l] Trail magic at Kinsman Notch Sept 5 to 7
rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Sun Sep 9 13:31:42 CDT 2012
Well, my 87-year-old Mom wanted to see Trail Magic in action so I made one
last trip to the Whites, hoping to catch some of the "end of the pack" at
Kinsman Notch this past week. They were there! In numbers!
Wednesday was slow due to the lingering rain from the hurricane but 6 hikers
stopped and lingered to talk with Mom, my sister and Stitches. Two hikers
had met me at Crawford Notch 5 days ago, Piper and Merry the Hobbit, so they
stopped and visited with us on Wednesday, completely surprised to get double
magic! But nearly everyone else for the 3 days was northbound, even though
some were going southbound for the day. This spot is convenient for doing a
slack over Mt. Mooselauke where the hikers head back to either Jeffers Brook
Shelter or to Hikers Welcome in Glencliff.
Traditionally, say about 10 years ago, this crossing at Kinsman/Rt. 112
wasn't used as a town stay for Lincoln/N. Woodstock. Instead both nobo and
sobo hikers were using the Rt. 3/Franconia Notch road to reach town for
resupply, 13 miles further north. The idea of slacking the 13 miles may have
been in our minds back then but the cost & time to arrange the shuttles was
prohibitive. The only hostel was the Cascade Lodge, a rather pitiful place
in '97. This has all changed pretty significantly. I don't think I met a
single hiker who wasn't going to town, or returning to the trail from town.
Many were being slacked over Mooslauke, & then slacked to Rt. 3/Franconia
the next day, brought in to Chet's at Lincoln and then put on the trail
again to hike towards Mt. Lafayette. The Shuttle Connection is a pretty
cheap way to arrange the rides, with cellphones, or the help comes from Phat
Chap, or Miss Janet, or others that are supporting the hikers with rides.
A pair of southbounders, I won't name them, were pretty irritating when they
arrived, and in a new way for me! They are college aged guy & girl, probably
a couple. The guy talked with me, collected treats for both of them, wrote
the compulsory note in my trail register. The girl stood about 30 feet away
and called a gear company to get a new pack. Within hearing distance, I
heard the blow-by-blow; that the company was reluctant to send a new pack;
she had already got a new sleeping bag out of them. Eventually, after
another call the company relented, then there was the talking about where to
send, when to get there. Business done, the couple moved to the edge of the
road to hitch a ride to Lincoln.
I felt sorry for them. Instead of a conversation with me they chose to take
the things they wanted and then move on. The guy seemed nice but obviously
was compliant with the girl. Hearing the one-way conversations, trailside,
harshed my buzz in a big way.
So I learned there are trailside spots where hikers are too busy to enjoy a
snack, and there are others (like Crawford Notch) where life is a bit
slower, possibly because of the lack of phone service, hostels and resupply.
Met 50 hikers these last 3 days, getting my season total up to 375. I had
budgeted $1000 for the summer, so feeding the average hiker works out to
Arthur D. Gaudet
RockDancer on the Appalachian Trail
Rockdancer97 at comcast.net
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