Redline Guide Mike Maciel led these trips — a Bonds-Zealand Traverse and a day on the southern end of Franconia Ridge to summit two more 4000-footers, Liberty and Flume — and Mike also provided a nice summary of their time together in the wild. (Thank you, Mike.) So, without further ado, let’s embark on their journey together. A story of gain fueled by loss in the best sense possible.
Our guest was coming to us by way of a referral, we love it when happy customers send their friends. He has been on an impressive weight loss journey over the last year and was looking to push himself.
We started the week off with a classic White Mountain backpacking trip, the Zealand-Bonds Traverse. It was everything a good trip should be. We met some thru-hiking characters, like “Walmart”, who told us on top of Zeacliff that he bought all his gear there (at Walmart, not Zeacliff), including his pink sleeping bag. We experienced trail magic, in the form of some neighbors at Guyot who packed too much food and generously shared their crackers and cheese. We caught a majestic sunrise from the summit of Mount Bond and had Bondcliff all to ourselves in the early morning. Our guest even participated in a backpacking rite of passage, complaining about the road to nowhere also known as Lincoln Woods. I also had the chance to show our guest about how seriously we take Leave No Trace and our jobs as stewards of the mountains by carrying out a 10 pound bag of someone’s cookout trash 10 miles from the summit of Bond.
Following a semi-rest day (our guest stretched his legs to check out Lonesome Lake), we were back at it on Friday. With potential wind gusts up to 65 mph forecast in the Presidentials, we decided to stay a little further south. I thought our guest might appreciate the history of the Flags on the 48, especially seeing that it was 9/11. So we headed to where it all began: Mount Liberty. Originally it was in the clouds, but after a quick out and back over to Flume the skies opened up to beautiful views. Our guest was wearing a hat with the message, “What is your why?” on it, and at one point he showed it to me and said being able to do things like this was his why. We get it. What a great journey. —Mike Maciel
Nicely written. Thank you, Mike. And an extra big thank you to you for carrying out other people’s cookout trash. That they left that out there is a real shame. Thankfully you prevented that trash from being strewn about by animals or the wind. Good job, sir.
Mike, thank you again for modeling the best possible stewardhip. And to our guest, congrats, and thanks for choosing Redline Guiding.