Epic 4 day trip up over Bond from Lincoln Woods and exiting out at Zealand. It was my first time staying at a shelter – really liked it! This was Shannon’s first multi-day backcountry hike. She was awesome! The first night we found an OK spot a couple hundred feet off the Wilderness trail, down what used to be the old trail. But, if we looked a bit more along the river, we would have found a couple excellent existing spots right on the water. Next time. We then spent two nights at the shelter, taking a rest day on day 3. That day we just did the short hike over to West Bond. That night was COLD, with some snow flurries and strong winds. Day 4 saw 70+ mph winds and 40 degrees as we went over Guyot to Zealand. But by the time we got down to the hut, it was a pleasant sunny and 65.
Day 1: Lincoln woods to Franconia Falls, then left (east) down the wilderness trail. This is mostly just flat access road or old railroad bed. Camped at an old RR bridge down the old Wilderness Trail along the Pemi.
Day 2: Up Bond Cliff and Bond to Guyot Hut. It was hot all the way up to the Cliffs and very sunny. No bugs under tree line, but a few pesky black flies up on the cliffs – in August! Just as we summited Bond (main peak), a thundershower broke out. We high-tailed it to the shelter just in time to avoid getting very wet. We joined a family in the shelter that was at the end of their second say doing the Pemi Loop. We slept well, as it was a hard day for us. It was almost 7 miles and 3000 vertical feet. A lot for us.
Day 3: Rest day. The weather was a bit gloomy. We rested in and did the 1 mile out and back to West Bond, getting good pics of the cliffs. No rush for us. Met a few more at the hut. A guy from NYC with his dog, who got out of the city for some long hikes during COVID. A young girl who has done the ATC, but was doing the loop this trip. That night it got cold – about 30.
Day 4: We got up in the cold and got ourselves moving. With wild winds and cloudy skies, we made it over Guyot, barley able to stand up! We then hit Zealand and then down to the hut, hitting much calmer and pleasant conditions. We thought we might stay another night somewhere nearby the hut (and legal) but it was still early afternoon, and all that was left was a 3-4 mile run out, so we kept going. It was basically flat.
Parking Lot: well, now we are at Zealand trailhead without a car, during a pandemic. We thought we would call a cab, but there is no cell signal, and probably wouldn’t be until we got out to the road, another 3 miles. The next guy off the trail was along, with his dog. Shannon asked for a ride, and he was very generous to bring us back to our car! He was driving back down to MA, and was going by Lincoln anyway. Still, he had to go about 20 miles out of his way. Excellent guy, turns out we had some work mates in common as well, so had a good conversation. He was just completing the 4000 footers., with only one more left.