Pantscapade 2016 – White Mountains

22 Oct

Photos by Erick Johnson and Steven David Roberts

Steven – Erick Johnson

Erick and I spent a long weekend camping and exploring along the Kangamangus in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was uneventful and relaxing… just the distraction I was looking for.

Erick was flying in from Florida that afternoon. So, he wasn’t due in until around dinner. I got up there early and took advantage of the solitude to hang around the Basin in Franconia Notch and just stare at the waterfalls with my camera.

The Basin Franconia Notch, NH - SD Roberts
The Basin Franconia Notch, NH – SD Roberts

Because it was in the middle of the day of a weekday, I was pretty much the only one there. I worked on some exposures for a couple of hours and then found a good spot to try my hand at timelapse. The best composition had me sitting on a rock along the shoreline of a stream, with my tripod in the water. The result wasn’t anything too amazing. But, it was incredibly relaxing just watching the light change on the surface of the water as it moved through the trees.

Later in the day, I made my way back to the Covered Bridge Campground to find our site. It wasn’t long before Erick arrived. After setting up camp, we made dinner and then got caught-up over beers

Sunrise Reflecting off Swift River - SD Roberts
Sunrise Reflecting off Swift River – SD Roberts

I had bought a couple of cheap $30 inflatable boats from Ocean State. So, the plan for the next day was to load them up with lunch and water and spend the day floating down the Saco. When we woke up that morning, however, we discovered that the temperature had dropped significantly over night, and it was hard to imagine spending the day on the water with less than reliable watercraft. It was cold!!

Covered Bridge Reflection - SD Roberts
Covered Bridge Reflection – SD Roberts

However, after breakfast things warmed up and we launched our fragile boats. Since there had been little rain all summer, the river was extremely low… often only a few inches. The good news is that the chance of drowning was practically nill. The real risk was catching crap on the bottom a tearing a hole in one of our cheap boats. And since we both top out at 6’5″, 250lbs, sharing a boat in an emergency was not going to be an option.

Erick - SD Roberts
Erick – SD Roberts

However, aside from a small set of rapids at the beginning and a portage over a large sandbar, the float was chill. My biggest concern was not getting to the take-out before dark, as the current was barely moving. But, even this was a non-issue.

The Basin - Erick Johnson
The Basin – Erick Johnson

On Saturday, we had breakfast at Flapjacks in Lincoln. This has been a Getnoutside Crew tradition for many years… specifically the “Hungry as a Bear” plate. We then proceeded to explore Franconia Notch and made our may North on the west side of the White Mountains and back down the east side to North Conway. We took our time and stopped to take photos when the opportunity presented itself.

Steven - Erick Johnson
Steven – Erick Johnson

A stop at the Cider Mill (another tradition) was definitely in order so we could grab lunch and a half-dozen donuts. We were able to watch them mash apples for cider and got to sample some fresh from the fruit.

The Basin - Erick Johnson
The Basin – Erick Johnson

That evening we tried to capture the sun setting over the mountains from the vantage-point of a scenic lookout along the Kanc. However, Mom Nature had other plans and placed a huge cloud bank just behind the mountain range. We comforted ourselves with Loaded Nachos, Brews, and Meals at the Common Man Restaurant.

Selfie - Erick Johnson
Selfie – Erick Johnson

 

Selfie of a Selfie - Erick Johnson
Selfie of a Selfie – Erick Johnson

 

The White Mountains - Erick Johnson
The White Mountains – Erick Johnson

 

Camp - Erick Johnson
Camp – Erick Johnson

 

Lugging the boats to the river - Erick Johnson
Lugging the boats to the river – Erick Johnson

 

Floating down the Saco - Erick Johnson
Floating down the Saco – Erick Johnson

 

Steven's butt dragging down the ship - Erick Johnson
Steven’s butt dragging down the ship – Erick Johnson

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