A returning guest, Suzanne, asked us to create a memorable experience that would inspire her to continue her recuperation progress after an old injury. After her last tour with us, of South Moat (unrecorded), she was ready for more but to take it easy on her. She is, after all, not a spring chicken. She wanted to ramp things up, getting stronger as she goes. To make the drive worth her while she decided to have two days with us, back-to-back. First a big day, while fresh, then a second day with a smaller objective and the option for more — which was chosen.
Day One: Kedron Flume to Zealand Traverse
Day one consisted of around 9.5 miles of some of the prettiest trail there is, much of the route on the Applachian Trail (AT). Some highlights included the Kedron Flume, Ethan Pond, the Pemi North Fork, Thoreau Falls, Zealand Notch, Whitewall Slide, and Zealand Trail. For 1.6 miles one climbs up to access the ridge, then the rest is just a cruise. Always a pleaser this one is. On assignment for day one was Redline Guide Álvaro Marques and he was more than pleased to accept this tour’s lead. He again proved himself as a capable, responsible, and caring guide. Suzanne noted how he was so patient, understanding, and such a nurturing person. He provided a detailed debrief of the tour and it was clear that Suzanne was in very good hands. Time to give him a raise! (Done.) He also took some great photos:
Day Two: Mt Martha (Cherry Mtn) & More
After such a terrific first day with Álvaro, this second day’s tour leader, Redline Guide Ken Hodges, was going to have his work cut out for him. There were a couple of challenges. First was Suzanne had relocated to a place in Bethlehem so finding something in that area would be ideal so as to eliminate a ton of extra driving. Second, the day was to be metered so as to allow bits to be done as her energy allowed. Third, she had already hiked many of our top 52WAV (52 With A View) picks in that area already. The 3563-foot Mt Martha, one of Cherry Mountain’s two summits, however, wasn’t on her personal been-there, done-that list and it was short enough making it a fine choice.
As it turned out it really was a good pick on Ken’s part, and Suzanne was feeling surprisingly good after the hike. Energized. After they descended, in fact, she request a second bit of trail. She had energy, though something flatter was preferred. Ken decided that the Sam Willey and Saco River Trails would be a pleasant and scenic cap for the day — a day that happened to be Suzanne’s birthday. He was right. Please enjoy these photos Ken took.
Congratulations to Suzanne (and happy birthday) on an impressive two days. And Álvaro and Ken, good job, gentlemen. You’re both fine leaders. Well done, team!