Cannon: First and Last of the 2011-2012 Carpool Challenges, 6.1.12

Yesterday was the last day of school for my children and with a beautiful day and rain forecast for this weekend, I took the opportunity to go hiking.  What to hike?  I hiked Cannon the first day of school this year, so I thought it would be fitting to hike Cannon again on the last day of school, using the same route.

The route was Lonesome Lake Trail to Kinsman Ridge Trail to the summit, then back down the Kinsman Ridge Trail to Hi-Cannon Trail and finish the descent on Lonesome Lake Trail.  I arrived at Lafayette Place to a pretty quiet parking lot and campground.   I wasn’t surprised as the big holiday weekend was over and it was too early for anyone thinking of camping in the rain all weekend to arrive.  The weather was sunny, but cool, ideal for a quick hike.  Off I went up to Lonesome Lake, where I encountered an interesting sign.  Obviously,  the park has a few finishing touches to complete before the summer crowds arrive.

Hmmm . . . yes, I believe you’d have trouble trying to cross on the ice today.

Lonesome Lake, still and glassy, reflecting the Kinsmans, and ice-free.

As beautiful as Lonesome Lake was this morning, it was time to move on to the next section of the hike from the lake up to Kinsman Ridge.  This section starts off easy and then begins the steeper ascent of the ridge.  I got a little warmup on the flatter sections and soon enough was at the Kinsman Ridge junction.  Then the fun really began, scrambling up all the boulders to the junction with the Hi-Cannon Trail.  I find this section enjoyable, because I don’t mind the rock scrambling and you do have to slow down a bit to get up the rocks safely.   The views back toward the Cannon Balls and Kinsmans was pretty good this day, too.

After passing the Hi-Cannon trail and moving quickly toward the summit, I started to hear voices and knew I was almost there.  Sure enough, because of the beautiful day, many people had come up via the Tramway.  Most of them were leaving the summit as I arrived, so I enjoyed a snack and the views on the tower platform before heading back down.

Another peek at the Kinsmans, from the summit.

The Franconia Range, bright green with early summer leaves. All the white spots are not snow, but shiny, wet rocky areas, such as Shining Rock near the summit of Haystack.

Looking back down to I-93 as it snakes its way through Fraconia Notch. Somewhere down there, at Lafayette Place is the car.

The trip down was quick and about how I’d remembered it.  The Hi-Cannon trail is very ledgy, then turns a bit bouldery, including the good old ladder, then further down becomes rocky and then has easy, gentle footing as it gets nearer to the Lonesome Lake Trail.

Lonesome Lake from the ledges on Hi-Cannon Trail. Everything is so bright and green and alive. Summer is here!

Back down the ladder once again to finish up the bouldery section.

Once back on the Lonesome Lake Trail, it was just a few minutes and I was back at the car, ready to head home, get cleaned up and down to Concord to pick up the children on time.

I enjoyed the Carpool Challenges this year.  It was a good way for me to be able to go hiking without having to be gone every weekend hiking, and was a good physical challenge to meet time limits.  The Carpool Challenges will pick up again in the fall, but between now and then, there are many adventures planned!

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