BobSaidiSeptember 15, 2014 at 12:06 amPost count: 16
We left the Lincoln Woods parking lot at 5:25 a.m. Jason was pacesetter, followed by Jen, Gretchen, Ania, and me, with hike leader Andy riding drag to make sure nobody got dropped. We made good time on the Lincoln Woods Trail, stashing away our headlamps after about half an hour, and turning onto the Franconia Falls Trail an hour after leaving the trailhead. The Fisherman’s Bushwhack was not difficult; the herd path disappeared a couple of times but we stayed close to the banks of the brooks and it would reappear again. We reached the Lincoln Brook Trail at 7:35 and took a break.
Hiking on the Lincoln Brook Trail was quite pleasant. There were a few muddy areas but none was a problem, and the crossings of Liberty Brook and Lincoln Brook were both easy. The turn onto Owl’s Head Path, which we reached at 9:20, was marked by a cairn and logs across the trail (I was glad they were there, since the path was not otherwise obvious). The slide itself was steep and rough, and after reaching the top of the slide there is still a decent distance to go to get to the top of the ridge, and then almost another half-mile along a variety of braiding paths to get to the new summit (also marked by a cairn), which we reached at 10:48.
The first thing we did was set up our 3’ by 5’ flag on a 15-foot pole lashed to a seven-foot stump. Below the flag Gretchen set up a memorial to James Foley, a friend of hers who was murdered last month by terrorists in the Middle East. We also posed for a photo holding some placards prepared by Andy, memorializing the people who died on September 11, 2001. We then had lunch, sharing food we had each brought: I cooked a batch of Freedom Dogs and Andy had brought bacon; Jason had the thought of combining the two. We heard the helicopter flying around the surrounding mountains, but it did not come near us.
We had a dozen visitors while we were at the summit, but with rain in the forecast, mists descending down Franconia Ridge to our west, and ahead of us an arduous descent down the slide, we decided to depart early in the hope of getting off the slide before the rain arrived. We packed everything up and left the summit at 1:05. We offer apologies to the four hikers who were approaching the summit as we were heading down, and thanks to the last one we passed who was kind enough to mention a side path just to the south of the slide that offered a slightly easier descent.
The drizzle began when we reached the Lincoln Brook Trail, and as it increased the group reached an unspoken agreement to press on. We took only one short break at the second crossing of Lincoln Brook, where the two bushwhacks depart from the main trail. We had already decided to follow the trails out instead of repeating the bushwhack. When we came to Franconia Brook we had to scout about 50 yards downstream to find a place to cross. The rain stopped when we reached the Lincoln Woods Trail, and an hour later (6:20 p.m.) we were back at the parking lot, sharing some more food and agreeing we should all do it again someday.
Photos are posted on the FOT48 gallery at http://gallery48.flagsonthe48.org/v/2014FOT48/2014owlshead_001/
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