At 5:45 am, the lights came on and coffee was started, waking us thru hikers in the Lonesome Lake Hut dining room. We all deflated our pads, stuffed our sleeping bags, packed up, and moved out to the front deck to eat breakfast from our food bags. The sun rose straight over the mountain we were about to climb across the lake.
By 6:30 Twist, Go Far, Spruce, and I started hiking the three miles down to Franconia Notch and I-93 / NH 3. We chatted, which made the miles go by quickly. At the road, they split off to hitch into North Woodstock while I continued under the road on the AT and started the 2,850 foot climb up to Franconia Ridge.
I tried texting Tandem to let her know that I was hiking up to the Presidentials but had no success. I reached Franconia Ridge and loved the early views of mountains Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette. I turned to the northeast and headed through the short pines to the top of Little Haystack Mountain.
After that, the trail was above the tree line for two miles. I could see the Saturday crowd of day hikers strewn across Mounts Lincoln and Lafayette. I made great time hiking with my full pack past most of the day hikers to reach the top of Mount Lincoln at 5,089 feet. I took a few pictures and kept hiking to Mount Lafayette at 5,291 where I had my picture taken with Mount Washington in the distance. We should be going over it early on Tuesday morning (day 136)!
I had lunch on Lafayette, noticing later that I had set my pack down by an AT blaze on the rock. Still no cell signal, so I was unable to text Tandem.
Before me loomed Mount Garfield, 3.5 miles away. I left Lafayette at 13:00 reached the top of Garfield by 15:30.
I knew that the Galehead Hut was three miles away, and most Huts prefer that hikers not show up before 17:00, so I shot for arriving at 17:15. When I got there, Politician and Incline were on the porch and had been since before 15:00, which surprised me. Turns out the crew had a lot of subs who seemed more easy-going.
I introduced myself to Beth and was assigned to sweep the guests rooms in the morning, then hung out and talked for an hour with Politician and Incline. Incline had been with IBM and knew that Jeff Foxworthy had worked there and had left the company for comedy with help from his friends. I told him that I was one of those friends, and he was impressed.
Around 18:15, Tandem and Jukebox showed up, and we were happy to see each other. Beth got their names for chore assignments and dinner head count. We talked with a guy there who had thru hiked the AT in 1996. It was interesting to compare gear weights, phone use, and guides available. Five Star showed up at 19:00, and they even let her slide in for dinner and a chore. This substitute crew was so nice and accommodating.
Like last night at Lonesome Lake Hut, we were invited to eat at 19:30 following the guest’s dinner. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, bread, cranberry sauce, gravy, and brownies. It was all you could eat, and it was delicious!
We sat in the dining room with the guests playing games and chatting until lights went out at 22:00, when we made our beds on the floor between the benches.