Welcome to New Hampshire, USA
Álvaro learned throughout the day that our friends were visiting several states — they came from Maine this morning and will be in Vermont tomorrow, then New York… You get the idea. He also learned that visiting New Hampshire, specifically, and seeing our famed fall foliage was on their must-do-before-I-die “bucket list.” We were more than happy to make their wishes come true. And we agree, it’s list-worthy.
Boulder Loop Trail was a perfect itinerary, chosen by Álvaro for its expansive views and just-right distance and difficulty. Moreover, there are two, protected, south-facing “color pockets” visible from this trail that owner Mike Cherim knew about from guiding a similar foliage tour on this very loop in the past. These pockets, we hoped, would hold some brighter colors.
At two-tenths of a mile in via a common footpath — the “lollipop stick” — the trail splits into two directions, each an end of a closed loop. Beginning the day before yesterday, Álvaro was considering which way to go. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. He and Mike had a deep discussion on the matter. The purpose, of course, was to maximize the enjoyment of the day and create the best possible experience for our guests. This might be one of those “six, one-half dozen, or another” decisions but the two labored over it, still. Mike ultimately told Álvaro that he trusted his judgement and to make the final decision. Álvaro, after careful consideration, chose to go to the right. A counterclockwise loop. His reasoning was to allow them several rewards on the way down after the bland, initial push. Moreover, weather dictated doing the heavy lifting early on thanks to the heat and humidity, saving the views for later when the partly cloudy skies would clear further. It was smart.
Álvaro isn’t just about finding those pockets of color or putting actual effort into choosing the best direction. None of our guides stop at the minimum — we won’t be the best we can be unless we reach for it. But he takes it a little further. In fact, Álvaro is developing a bit of a reputation among the Redline Guiding Team. We all want to shadow him now. We can’t match his unique level of service, that’s for sure. Granted he can’t perform his magic on every trip for practical and/or safety reasons, but when he can… wow. Curious yet? Well, Álvaro is Portuguese and he loves to cook. So, if you think trail mix is yummy stuff on a mountain (though everything tastes great in the mountains), you can just imagine what freshly-grilled chorizo sausage tastes like. Yes, you may request Álvaro in the comments section of our booking form.
Congratulations, ladies. Well done on your hike. And well done to you, too, Álvaro.