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[at-l] Hiking this weekend

Took a quick trip up to the Whites this weekend to do a little hiking and a
little trail magic.  Saturday I spent the afternoon hiking around in
Franconia Notch.  The balsam firs were very fragrant in the afternoon sun
and leaves are starting to turn and fall.. making that wonderful crunch
when you walk along.  The skies were bright and blue and cool breezes
rustled among the leaves of the maples and birches.  It was one of those
renewing experiences like Mags must have had yesterday.

I didn't see any thruhikers but LOTS of day hikers.  Saturday evening I met
up with Smelvin and gave him a ride to a nearby hotel.  He said he just
wanted a bed and a place he could watch TV... and a restaurant he was going
to 'do some damage to!'  Sat night I stealthed near the AT, and got up
bright and early to go to Kinsman Notch yesterday.  There was quite a crowd
there around 8:30 or 9.  I met up with many thruhikers I'd met at the Inn
at the Long Trail a couple weeks ago.  It's amazing how popular you become
when, standing among a group of thruhikers, you say "hey, does anyone want
a donut?"  :-)  There were just under a dozen hikers, and a dozen donuts
were gone in a flash.  They were also happy to give me all their trash, and
partake of sodas and oranges.

Among the group was our own Datto.  He said to tell everyone he had a nice
nap on the summit of Moosilauke... big surprise there.  After a second
breakfast of 3 oranges and 2 donuts he decided he wanted to go to town for
another breakfast.  I guess that was just a snack.  So we went to town and
ate again, and back to the trail.  Weather this weekend was just perfect!
The hikers told me that several times they'd been walking among lots of
maples and birches that are already changing colors, and in one area the
entire trail was carpeted with down leaves.  This is my favorite time of
year to hike too.  Come home Mags... Franconia is waiting for you ;)

Almost the entire group was headed for Eliza Brook shelter last night, and
over the Kinsmans today.  They should have a beautiful view of Franconia
Ridge... however tomorrow it is supposed to rain and be crappy so they'll
have a tough time going over Franconia Ridge in that.  Too bad too, because
in my opinion it's one of the most spectacular areas of the Whites.
However the weather looks good for the rest of the week so they should have
some great views.  Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

GA>ME '98

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