Ol' Boy Scout Troop 248 is heading out for some winter backpacking this morning. We're off to Lonesome Lake Hut
up on the side of Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch.
This is a "pinnacle" trip in more ways than one. Javier is in the sunset of his Scouting career. Currently holding the highest youth position in the troop, he's working on finishing up his Eagle badge before riding off to college in just a few months. We have been invited on this trip in previous years, but I've always deferred.
Seven years ago now, Javi and I were finishing up our Cub Scouting careers - Javi was about to earn the highest rank in that program (Arrow of Light) and we had a similar "peak" experience, as we had saved the overnight at the Pawtucket Red Sox for our final event.
Joining Troop 250 at the time, our first trip with the troop was a backpacking trip to the summit of Massachusset's highest peak, Mt. Greylock. You may remember this one, as it came at a critical time in my life. Having been recently diagnosed with cancer, it was important for me to go.
We've now come full circle. Despite transferring out of Troop 250 to their crosstown rivals, we've remained in touch with many of the scouts and leaders back there. This hike is a multi-troop affair; we've rented the entire hut and will fill all the slots with help from the aforementioned Troop 250, as well as our friends from Troop 42, Quincy.
We're experienced hands now; that first trip up Mount Greylock wasn't easy for either Scout nor Scouter here. But this time around, Javi asked me about gear, since he packed so light his pack is only about half-full. I've got a bit more gear than he, but I've got enough space that I have accepted the weight penalty and I'll be carrying my big camera up the mountain. We're packing light enough to carry our share of the communal gear and food this time.
So...we'll be off in not too much more time. Up in the mountains, the cabin website notes that we're "off the grid". I may be able to be in touch with the outside world briefly on Sunday, since we cross a saddle and summit the Cannon Mountain
ski area for lunch before heading back to the hut.
And we'll be back to civilization Monday afternoon.