3 Day Solo Backpack Trip: Highland Center to Ferncroft – August 22 – 25, 2012

My three day and night adventure involved over 50 miles of walking starting at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch and finishing at Ferncroft in Wonalancet via these trails: Avalon over Mts. Field and Willey, Willey Range, Ethan Pond, Shoal Pond, Carrigain Notch, Sawyer River Rd, Sawyer Pond, Oliverian, Kelley. The last day I did a group hike around the Bowl Research Natural area over Mts. Whiteface and Passaconaway along Blueberry Ledge, Rollins, Wonalancet Range Trails; about 11 miles.

I left the Highland Center at 6PM Wednesday night and hiked 2.5 miles to Mt Field where I camped for a long, sleepless night. I hung my food but it sounded like an animal was trying to get at it all night long and I could only imagine that animal was a bear and I would have no food in the morning. Alas, the food was hanging, in tact, exactly as I left it but my lesson was that I am very afraid to sleep in the woods alone.

The next day was a long 21 mile walk with my goal to reach the Sawyer Pond Campsite in hopes that I would meet other hikers. I pitched my tent on a site platform and fell asleep by 8PM feeling more secure despite being alone. Sometime before midnight a guy woke me up shouting out “where IS that toilet, the sign says there’s a toilet” over and over again. Not very humorous at the time but it makes me laugh out loud now! He and his buddy loudly pitched their tents next to mine.

Friday I hiked the remaining 11 miles of the traverse to Ferncroft parking area where there was cell phone coverage and I made a call to Bob. Much to my surprise and delight the large map in the parking area showed the location of an AMC hut about 3 miles away. Unfortunately that hut was sold some years ago and not knowing that led me on a tedious 8 additional miles of walking, 2 short car rides offered by helpful locals and a too-long story to write about here. (note to self: the Brook Path that parallels 113A is incorrectly shown on the AMC map but it is certainly a path worth walking with several gorgeous river waterfalls.)

On Saturday I joined Michael Blair of the Random Hiker group and 4 others for a nice, but challenging, 11 mile hike over Whiteface and Passaconaway.

white mountain traverse
Close to Mount Field Summit

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Pines at Mts. Field and Willey

white mountain traverse
Pemigewasset Wilderness

white mountain traverse
Trillium in Late Summer

white mountain traverse
Sawyer Pond Campsite

white mountain traverse
Entering Sandwich Wilderness Area

white mountain traverse
Beautiful Wonalancet at Trailhead

white mountain traverse
Group Hike up Mounts Whiteface and Passaconaway

white mountain traverse
Mount Whiteface Summit

white mountain traverse
Resting Butterfly on Michael’s Shirt

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