Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Hancocks (June 6, 2018) and the Kinsmans (June 11, 2018)

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Hancock Notch, Cedar Brook, and Hancock Loop trails
9.8 miles
2,650 feet of elevation gain

Now that our schoolwork has ended for the year (for the most part), Sage and I can afford to start our hikes a little later in the day.  Therefore, we began when the sun had already risen.

Trailhead picture!

Photo by Trish Herr

I am always amazed at how beautiful the sky looks with the cloud formations, as well as with the gradient from dark blue to light blue, ending at the horizon.

The trail is flat for a while on this hike, which makes it feel easier than most of the other mountains we climb.  It also gives me time to settle into hiking mode.

Water crossing...

The light shone through the trees.

Another water crossing...


Another intersection...

After the last intersection, the trail began to steepen a bit.

We were excited to reach the summit of North Hancock!  It was a cloudy day though, so we could not see any views through the short trees.

We had a snack and drank replenishing liquids before moving on.

Photo by Trish Herr


Time seemed to fly between the summits.  We got to South Hancock feeling good, and we casually rested before heading down.

The light flooded through the thin trees.

Peanut butter M&M'S: my favorite kind...

Photo by Trish Herr
We went back down the mountain feeling content.

Lonesome Lake, Cascade Brook, Fishin' Jimmy, Kinsman Ridge, Basin Cascades, Cascade Brook, and Kinsman Pond trails
11.0 miles
Around 3,500 feet of elevation gain

It was slightly cool when I got out of the car, so Sage and I both decided to start off wearing our hats.  I swear we were not trying to look identical, but in the trailhead picture below, it may seem like we tried to dress in the same clothing.  We both happened to be wearing blue jackets (the same shade), blue UCS shirts (well, that was purposeful), blue-ish hats, and mostly black pants.  How did this happen?

Although the Basin isn't technically part of the trail, I took pictures of it anyway; it is a pretty sight to see.

Trailhead with Basin-Cascade Trail...

There is sand spread over this small patch of the path.

The trail has a gradual incline at first.

Decent-sized water crossing...

The sunlight coming through the foliage made the trees shine a radiant light green.


Intersection with Kinsman Pond Trail...

Up we go...

Many long and dark shadows covered the trail.

It was lovely to see the blue, shimmering lake through the trees.

It was a gorgeous day.



Here it looks like the pond is half brown/green and half blue.

Hiking toward the light...

For some reason, I was quite hungry when we arrived at the Kinsman Pond Campsite, so we grabbed a couple handfuls of Chex Mix and rested at the shelter before continuing on to North Kinsman. 

Enjoying the warm sunlight...

Sage and I taking a breather...


I was happy to see some views...

We got to the summit of North Kinsman!  Below is a picture of the summit rock:

The faraway mountains emanated a soft blue glow.

After drinking some water at North Kinsman, we kept hiking.

Up, up, up...


Not too long now...

I got this cut on Saturday, and I keep accidentally reopening it...oh well.

We got up to the summit of South Kinsman.  We were rewarded with gorgeous 360 degree views, food from our backpacks, and the knowledge that we were basically finished going up for the day.

Summit photo!

I took a Pano with my iPhone:

Feeling cheery...

There was that blue gradient again...

Donuts are the best, especially when hiking! 

After relaxing a bit, we packed up and left the top.


We stopped by Lonesome Lake Hut (adding three tenths of a mile to our hike).

Lonesome Lake looked clear in the afternoon light.

Heading back down...

Tired, happy hikers!

While walking back to our car, I looked up and noticed the shining green foliage above me.


We were lucky to have such beautiful and perfect weather on one of our hiking days.