I came to it at last, the great hike of my time……or in other words, the final hike to finish off my 4000 footer journey. I made sure to arrive extra early so I wouldn’t have to rush through the hike and/or get caught after dark.
The hike started off from Lincoln Woods which is always a nice way to get the legs stretched out before any serious elevation gains. After about an hour of level hiking on the old rail line, I came to the fork that leads off to a touristy waterfall and the less touristy 10 hour hike to Bondcliff.
I was pleased to see while the trail got a lot more secluded, it still remained relatively flat for about another 45 minutes before finally reaching the turn to the left onto the actual Bondcliff trail which started to climb at last.
The trail upwards started nicely by meandering through some nice woods with a few scattered camp sites seeming to be close by but never actually seen. I passed a few other hikers as I settled into a hiking groove and started to make excellent time.
According to my white mountain hiking guide(ding ding), I was to be on the lookout for 5 river crossings in a row, why the trail doesn’t just stay on one side the whole time is one of life’s great mysteries.
After getting my feet wet for no apparent reason, I finally reached the side of the river I started on. I then settled into a grueling climb that culminated in my arrival at a different sort of river, one of stone.
I knew I must be getting close because the people coming down told me so. I crossed the boulder slide and after what felt like hours of switchbacks and questioning the sanity of the people who told me I was close, I finally reached the wide open summit of Bondcliff and my 48th summit!
I had finally finished a journey I had started 5 years before in reaching the 48th peak on my 4000 footer list and I celebrated my having lunch and taking a well deserved nap. After waking up, I enjoyed the views while contemplating what list to tackle next…. and the 4 hour hike back to my car. 48 down, TBD to go!!!!!!