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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Magical Mystery Tour in the Pemigewassett Wilderness Area

bondcliff at sunset--click for larger view sunset from west bond--click for larger view The Samurai has returned from a truly enchanting backpacking trip to the Pemigewassett Wilderness area. The weather gods did grin down upon us, allowing us to feast our buggy eyes on the crown jewels of the Pemi: The Bonds. Yea, the valleys did echo with the soft fluttering of camera shutters flick-flickering as the mountains stretched out in the sunlight.

Our intrepid group consisted of Rob and Jess, Ouzo, and the Samurai. We started at the Zealand Falls Trail, hiked on past the AMC Zealand Falls hut (mobbed with pasty flatlanders who smelled like aftershave and detergent!) and then on up the Twinway to the expansive views at Zeacliff. From there, we kept on truckin' on the Twinway until we came to the junction with the Bondcliff Trail. We hiked the Bondcliff Trail over Mt. Guyot and down the other side to the Guyot Campsite. At camp, we stayed at the Guyot shelter. Nice shelter, even had a porch and furniture! We settled in, fetched water from a mossy mountain stream, made dinner, and then shucked and jived 'till we fell asleep.

The next day, we had our minds blown. With such a beautiful day, we got some classic views of the famous outcrops at Bondcliff as well as of Bondcliff seen from West Bond and from Mt. Bond. Sometimes, the vistas were so turquoise that it seemed like we were underwater. We just took our time traipsing along the open ridges and even napping atop West Bond. We ended the day by taking in a glorious sunset atop West Bond.

Looking out from the shelter the next morning, the sky was heavily overcast and it soon began raining. After a hearty breakfast, we broke camp and headed out. When we broke out above treeline, the wind was whipping the chilly rain horizontally. On the summit of South Twin, visibility became so poor that it was sometimes tricky to follow the trail. But as we headed down North Twin, the rain soon stopped and we walked into bright sunshine. The contrast was amazing, like this whole trip.

You can see all the pictures from this trip here. And to complete this magical mystery tour, click the audblog link below to listen to a couple of short sound clips recorded live on the trail.

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