What began life as a full day Nature Tour featuring Franconia Notch and some of what it has to offer, ended up being quite a bit more. As it turned out the visiting Connecticut couple had a lot of energy so adding a quick 4000-footer in the tour mix seemed feasible. Redline Guide Mike Maciel sent us a text detailing the change. And speaking of detailing. After the trip, Mike also offered this more in-depth look.
A Change of Plans
A couple from Connecticut who had never heard of us was given a gift card from their nephew, who lives in Seattle … wait a minute, this sounds like an Internet scam.
It wasn’t though. They had some limited experience hiking in New Hampshire but weren’t totally sure what to do so we started down the path of a basic ‘Nature Tour‘ of Franconia Notch. I met them for a quick hike up Artist’s Bluff to see the morning light change the colors in the notch. I immediately noticed that they were very capable hikers.
Part two of the tour was the mellow hike into Lonesome Lake where we arrived a little before 11am. As I took them on the Around the Lake Trail, they asked some questions about Cannon. Not if they could hike it, per se, but general interest questions. Standing at the junction with the Lonesome Lake Trail it seemed to me they might have a more fulfilling experience converting this tour into a hiking day. They had all the gear, the fitness, and the desire so why not?
The guests were in. Basecamp was updated. Off we went to the summit. It turned out to be the right choice as our guests were blown away by the new perspective up top. We also had one very proud guest who couldn’t believe some of the terrain she covered to get there (the back side of the Kinsman Ridge Trail is a little rough in places).
After a nice lunch atop the tower, we headed back down to the Lonesome Lake Hut for a snack, hiked out, and then finished the tour with a quick trip to The Basin.
When you go out with on a tour with a hiking guide you never know where your ‘tour’ might end up! —Mike Maciel
And of course, some photos, too (slightly out of order cuz that’s how we roll):