Our team from the Slow and Steady NH Women Hikers group — a private, closed group — did it again, in that members of their group joined our guides on another adventure; this time with more stable weather. On lead for this trip was Redline Guide Deb Dunn and according to our guests, she did great. Below you will find some content from Deb highlighting their three day/two night backpacking adventure, then a video created with still images provided by Deb, coupled with a few photos taken by one of our guests, Nancy Protzmann (thank you).
Nature, solitude, and backcountry learning: We dropped a car at the Fish Hatchery on York Pond Road to give us flexibility and options for hiking. We then parked the other car on Mill Brook Road in Stark, hiking the beautiful and gentle Unknown Pond Trail to Unknown Pond Tentsite. On the way in we were treated to a veritable nature show with several types of toads and frogs, LOTS of moose scat along with moose rubbings, gorgeous and plentiful lady slippers, trillium, and other blooming June flowers. There were bright yellow butterflies (they looked like yellow Monarchs but I haven’t identified them yet) swarming, small white butterflies swarming the ferns that thrive in this stream- and pond-side environment, and gorgeous birdcalls, including the distinctive rapping of the pileated woodpecker making its enormous excavations.
Arriving at the tentsite Friday afternoon gave us our choice of sites and ample time to learn how to set up a variety of tents, organize and stow gear, hang bear bags, learn about backcountry cooking and Leave No Trace principles, finding and filtering water, and to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the pond.
Saturday we set out for a ‘slackpack’ (lightening the load by keeping the established camp and overnight gear in place) day hike to The Horn where we were afforded stunning clear views of the Presidential Range to the south, and North and South Percy peaks to the north. After a relaxing lunch on the summit we hiked back to basecamp and weighed our options of breaking camp and heading to Roger’s Ledge Tentsite for the night and hiking out via Mill Brook Trail to the car spot, or staying put and hiking out the way we came. The group consensus was the latter. We took a short siesta and explored part of the York Pond Trail before dinner.
We were blessed with perfect weather — mild and dry — terrific group dynamics, lots of learning opportunities, and a lot of joyful conversation and laughter for this wonderful group of intrepid novice backpackers. They now have the skills and increased confidence to head out with each other and others on their own. —Deb
Great job, Deb and way to go team! Thanks for adventuring with Redline Guiding.