Quality ‘Bonding’ Time | White Mountains
It was 8:30PM on a Tuesday night and I was scanning the mountain forecast and directions before packing my bags and going to bed. Wednesday was supposed to be the most beautiful weather day and I had every intention of hiking a smaller mountain with the boys (Boone & Crock), taking pictures and napping on the summit.
I jokingly blurted to Erik “You should take the day off tomorrow so we can hike the Bonds”. To my surprise, he was quick to oblige and that was that. My 7 mile day quickly turned to a 20 miler. I was quite alright with that, as the company was much welcomed.
9PM bed time calls for a 3AM wake time.
Let’s Set the Scene
The 3AM wake up call was welcomed and we were on the road by 3:30! Thank goodness Erik was driving as my eyes only stayed open for a brief minute or two the entire trip– great co-pilot I am!
We pulled into the Lincoln Woods Trailhead parking lot at 5AM on the dot. We were the only vehicles there! Now, if you have ever been here you know that this is a feat in and of itself (I hope that is the right sang?).
This trailhead is usually mobbed by 6AM, and the streets are lined with cars by 10. It was amazingly quiet, the stars were bright, our bladders were emptied and we were on the trail just after 5.
After a few doggy poo breaks, we cruised through 5 miles before the sun even came up!
and then Erik says “It’s all uphill from here”
We crossed our last junction where Erik exclaimed to me that it would be all uphill from here (hence the title of this paragraph). However, it was quite gradual and I think the abundance of snow helped to level out some of that steepness that Erik remembered from earlier in the winter.
In fact there was so much snow that we stood approximately 10 feet off the ground. We were so high that with the remaining 1.5 miles unbroken, we were in constant fear of losing an eye (those branches were out to get us!).
I said a little thank you out loud for my snowshoe elevators because I hardly broke a sweat going up (behind Erik, who was thankfully breaking trail). If you don’t know what snowshoe elevators are, look them up and perhaps get them if you are searching– they are quite magical and make you feel strong as hell!
Summit Sitting or another Mountain?
We broke out of the treeline and were greeted with views of surrounding White Mountains, mostly still capped with snow. There was not a cloud in the sky, not even a slight breeze. Upon summiting Bond Cliffs, we sat to take in the beauty while sunbathing (our faces would show for it later).
Erik pointed out West Bond and I said “That’s beautiful, but you know I am enjoying this weather too much to move too quickly” (or at all). We agreed to hike to Mount Bond and then descend to enjoy lunch back on Bond Cliffs– best decision yet.
The boys enjoyed a summit nap in between begging for more treats. We enjoyed some homemade date balls– packed with energy…. and chocolate.
It was tempting to stay there all day, but with 11 miles or so to get back to our car, we packed up, wrapped every bit of scenery in a “mind hug” and descended.
One Fall, Two Fall
My snowshoes do great things coming up a mountain, but I can’t tell you how many times I fell on the way down– even the boys were embarrassed for me! I was like Sasquatch coming down the trail, busting through the branches without much care or elegance.
The next 5 miles flew by and soon enough we were back on the main trail and enjoying the sun dancing low in the sky.
You know those hikes where you just REALLY want to get back to your car, like you wish more than ever before that teleportation was a real deal thing? Surprisingly enough, this was NOT one of them. I enjoyed every aspect of this hike (except when I ripped my skirt, which Erik kindly offered to mend), right back to the parking lot.
Again, the parking lot was void of any other car. We actually did not see a single soul all day– it was complete bliss.
A Happy Adventure, Just What I Needed
Early morning start, stunningly beautiful hike, solo miles with my favorite bearded men and happy memories made. The pit stop on the way home for Triscuits, hummus and apple cider (this is beginning to be a tradition, now) was just the bee’s knees to the whole day.
Our hearts were happy, our bellies full– mission completed.
These days inspire me to get out more, be adventurous and to break free of a monotonous routine (you may like this, and that is freaking awesome if you do!)
I hope you too, are able to do something you enjoy, that lifts your spirits as often as you can.
Happy tails & Happy trails,
Ciara, Boone & Crockett
Stats for the Day:
Mountains Enjoyed: Bond Cliff, Mount Bond
Distance: 21.47 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,255′
Starting Time: 5:32AM
Ending Time: 6:50AM
Total Time: 13 hours 18 minutes
Food Consumed (between Erik & I): 6 medium size Energy Date Balls, 4 Muir Packets total: 1 Cashew Vanilla, 1 Sweet Potato Oregano and 2 Pineapple Kale.
Happiness Meter: 10/10 (Will I ever score these lower?) Did not see a single person and weather was perfect!