Sunday, September 16, 2018

Garfield, Galehead, and the Twins. Supporting Alex's solo Pemi Loop. Sept 9, 2018

Mt. Garfield Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, The Twinway, North Twin Spur, North Twin Trail, Lincoln Woods Trail, about 22 1/2 miles, 5500 feet of elevation gain

To read Alex's blog post about her experiences doing the Pemi Loop, click here.

Just this past year the White House gave the order for work to be started on a missile defense system that is rooted in space.  In this system, satellite-like objects (many of which would be orbiting around Earth) would detect when a foreign country's nuclear missile was in the air; they would then use rocket engines to fly right into the missile, destroying it.  However, this system has many flaws; two examples are that it would cost hundreds of billions of dollars and that it is easy to out-maneuver.  To learn more about this, go to this Union of Concerned Scientists article.  To donate to UCS, click here.

This hike wasn't so much about hiking Garfield, Galehead, and the Twins as it was about supporting Alex while she was hiking the Pemi Loop solo.  Our plan was to, after dropping Alex off at the Lincoln Woods Trail so she could start the Loop, have John Myers hike with Mom and I up to Garfield via Mt. Garfield Trail.  He would then wait for Alex there; when she reached him he would give her liquids and snacks and then send her on her way.  After this, John would head down Mt. Garfield to his car.  While he was waiting for her, Mom and I were to walk over to Galehead Hut and up to South Twin, where we would wait for Alex.  When she finished the strenuous climb up South Twin, we would replenish her food bag and water bottles, give her a hug, and send her over to the Bonds.  

After this, Mom and I would hike over to North Twin and then down North Twin Trail, drive over to Lincoln Woods, and start hiking in to meet Alex coming off the Bonds.  We would then wait 15 minutes for Alex to get a head start walking towards the car, and then we would trudge back towards the Lincoln Woods parking lot ourselves, where John would be waiting to congratulate Alex on her accomplishment.

Because Alex had to start off so early, John, Mom, and I started in the dark.
Photo by Trish Herr

Photo by Trish Herr
After 5.0 miles of moderate trail, half of it in the dark, we reached Garfield.  There were 360 degree views and a slight undercast.  It was exceptionally beautiful. 

Photo by Trish Herr

Photo by Trish Herr

John and Mom...

Mom and I said goodbye to John and started down Garfield on Garfield Ridge Trail.  At first it was a bit of a waterfall trail, but it got less wet as we got closer to Galehead Hut.

A view of Galehead, Galehead Hut, and the Twins!

We eventually got to the hut. To give both Mom and I a significant break, we decided to take turns going up Galehead while the other one rested at the hut.

Photo by Trish Herr
When it was my turn to go up Galehead, I went without my backpack and therefore scampered up the .4 miles. 

I could see the hut from Galehead's viewpoint...

The summit was quiet and cool, and I didn't want to leave so soon, but I had to get down to the hut so Mom and I could get up South Twin

Since I went second, when I came back down it was time to head up South Twin, where we would wait for Alex.  The Twinway was gruelingly steep and took a long time, but eventually we made it to the gorgeous summit of South Twin.

There were a lot of people on the summit, so we asked one of them to take our picture...

Photo by Kind Hiker Lady
After taking photos and eating snacks, Mom and I laid down and waited for Alex.  I even took a nap!  We waited 2 hours and 40 minutes.  So one can imagine how relieved we were to see her when she caught up to us!  After replenishing Alex's supplies, Mom and I waved goodbye as she headed toward the Bonds.  We then started towards North Twin.

It was a relatively easy ridge walk, and we were at North Twin's summit before we knew it.

Mom and I at the North Twin view point...

Photo by Trish Herr
Here is a view of where we had come from.  This picture shows Galehead, Garfield, and the ridge walk between them, as well as other mountains that we did not ascend.

Mom and headed down North Twin toward our car (we did a car spot with John, so our car was at the start of the North Twin Trail while his was at the start of Mt. Garfield Trail).

It got flatter as we neared the parking lot...

After a while, we made it to our car.  Mom and I then drove to the Lincoln Woods parking lot, picking up some food for us and a cold Sprite for Alex on the way.  When we got to the trailhead, we parked our car, ate our food, said hi to John, who had been waiting there since he got down from Garfield, and started walking towards the Bonds to meet Alex coming out.  Our reason for doing this was so that her last stretch would be broken up by us saying good job and giving her a Sprite.  It would give her a nice boost at the end of her hike.

We ended up hiking to the bridge by Franconia Falls before we saw Alex.  We said hi and then sent her on her way.  After waiting around 15 minutes, Mom and I started walking back towards the Lincoln Woods trailhead after Alex.

Photo by Trish Herr
Eventually we all made it out and to the car.  John had been really nice and bought some mini cupcakes and sparkling apple cider, so we had a little celebration in the parking lot.  It had been a successful, fun, and tiring day for all of us.  Also, I just want to say congratulations to Alex for doing a solo Pemi Loop!  You worked so hard for this and I am so proud that you completed your goal!

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