Kinsman Ridge Trail. Around 4.2 miles roundtrip with about 2100 feet of elevation gain.
A mini-mountain of gravel sat near the trailhead. I'm not sure what's going on with that parking lot in terms of construction, but I guess the answer will be made clear within a few weeks. I'll show that mini-mountain below, in this trip report's last photo.
Our morning, mostly in pictures and captions ---
|John and Alex, about to begin the hike.|
|Sage tying her boot before hitting the trail.|
|Snow-free trail (for the most part). Woo-hoo!|
|Skiers were flying down this part of the trail just six or seven weeks ago.|
|The connection to the ski slopes (hikers take a left here)|
|Some snow remained higher up -- |
though nothing that required snowshoes or microspikes.
|We didn't bother going to the viewpoint on the way up|
since we were fogged in.
|All of this -- tips of trees, boulders, everything --|
was under snow not that long ago.
|Heading up the summit tower.|
|The girls in a cloud.|
|John, with Franconia Ridge behind him (hiding in the clouds)|
|Max, who is handling his recent 4Ks|
as though he didn't take the entire winter off
Our pace was steady on the way up. It was a beautiful hike -- the fog rolled through the trails creating a dream-like atmosphere. That's one thing you don't get in winter that you do in spring/summer/fall -- mist and clouds rolling in front of you, just above you, and around you.
We bade goodbye to John after reaching the summit -- Alex wanted to continue with him to the Kinsmans, but I reminded her of all the things we needed to do that afternoon. I wish we could have blown off our responsibilities. The girls' education is important, however (of course), and there was prealgebra to do and standardized tests to take...so down we went.
|The viewpoint on the way down...still Cloud|
As we descended, the fog burnt off. The 21 people and three dogs who were ascending as we were descending probably had views by the time they reached the summit. This was our only view of the day --
|Back at the trailhead!|
Here's that mini-mountain of gravel. The girls wanted to climb it, but I imitated a wet blanket and said no.
Yet another great morning. I love the fact that we live near these mountains. I love that we can hike a mountain the same day the girls take their end-of-year standardized tests. Homeschooling has brought us so much flexibility, and I am grateful we can do it.
Funny, there are so many misconceptions about homeschooling in general -- but more about that in another post.