Home » 2009 White Mountains Backpacking Trip

Nineteen Mile Brook Trailhead, NH

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 - 11:00am by Andrew
4 miles and 2 hours from our last stop


Drying ClothesDrying Clothes Woke up at 6:00 feeling very well-rested. I stepped out onto our porch into bright sunlight, which had nicely dried our socks, which had been carefully draped over the wooden railing. This would be our last day on the trail - a mere 3.8 miles on the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, leading to Route 16 where we could conveniently catch a shuttle bus that would bring us back to the Liberty Springs Trailhead at Franconia State Park - our starting destination from a week earlier. I had mixed feelings about our trip coming to an end. While my body was incredibly fatigued and I craved a shower to cleanse the 7 days of sweat and dirt from by body, I wasn't sure that I was ready to remove myself from the extremely simple and enjoyable lifestyle that I had now grown so accustomed to. We had covered a huge variety of beautiful landscape over the past week, but in essence every day was essentially the same - wake-up, eat, walk, eat, walk, eat, sleep. I had gotten pretty used to this lifestyle and I wasn't sure that I was ready to give it up for the more civilized existence I would be forced to adapt to when I arrived home.

Nineteen Mile Brook TrailNineteen Mile Brook TrailAnyway, we said farewell to our new friends at Carter Notch Hut and hit the trail. The hike back was a relatively easy trail - wide and well-maintained - that ran along a nice little brook. We were pretty much all business on the way back - no snack or photo breaks as we wanted to ensure that we wouldn't miss the shuttle bus picking us up at the parking lot at Route 16. It turned out that this wouldn't be an issue, as the guy driving the AMC Shuttle was a good 25 minutes late, which gave us plenty of time to goof around in the parking lot taking pictures at the trailhead, eating nutella, doing abs, and even eating nutella while doing abs.

Sit-ups while eating NutellaSit-ups while eating NutellaThe shuttle finally showed up and we each gave the nice old man $19 for a ride back. We were the only two on the bus and the driver was very keen on talking to us. Unfortunately we couldn't really understand what this guy was saying, so the conversation involved a lot of "Oh, yeah's" and "uhhum's" on our end. This shuttle ride also involved a layover at the Highland Visitors Center in Crawford Notch, where our driver informed us that he would be taking an hour lunch break. Fortunately it was a beautiful day, so Nik and I didn't mind the opportunity to lounge around and check things out. I couldn't help but buy myself an overpriced turkey sub at the food place in the Visitors Center. Nik, however, had more will-power than I and refrained from paying for a sandwich, opting for leftover peanut butter, powerbars, and cheese instead.

The Hike's EndpointThe Hike's EndpointEventually our driver was done with his lunch and was ready to bring Nik and I back to Liberty Springs. As we pulled into the parking lot, I was very pleased to see that the ol' Civic was still there in one piece. Rather than depart right away on the 6-hour trek back to New Jersey, we killed a good hour in the parking lot goofing around more - listening to music, taking pictures, etc. Morale was through the roof.

The drive back went smoothly. I drove the first half while Nik chilled, and then Nik drove the second half. The parents were certainly pleased to see us back home in one piece, but were less than thrilled with our grimy and greasy appearance that we had developed over the past 8 days. I took a shower almost immediately, while Nik may have waited another week or so to do so.

The CivicThe CivicAnd so our trip came to close. While there were certainly times on our 65 mile trek where we were both miserable, the hike was an overwhelming success. We had created enough memories that we could talk for hours hysterically recounting various anecdotes and encounters from our trip. While the contrast of our week of hiking and living in the wilderness with our normal everyday life was huge - each of them really makes you appreciate the other more. I could only wish there was more time spent hiking and less time spent in the "real-world", but I suppose there is always next summer. I can only wait and hope that my hiking partner feels the same.