I had been thinking for some time about
returning to the Bonds since I hadn't been on either Mt Bond or West Bond
since 1999. Now, with the arrival of the long pleasant days of midsummer, I
figured it would be a good time to make a Pemigewasset traverse, hiking all
the way from Zealand Road in Twin Mountain to the Lincoln Woods Trailhead on
the Kancamagus Highway east of Lincoln. I decided not to bring Muffin
because I was worried that the long day might be too hard on her feet.
To give myself the most hours of daylight, I left
home even earlier than usual, arriving at the Zealand Trailhead and starting
out around 5:30 AM.
The hike in to Zealand Falls Hut was exactly the
way I remembered it, mostly flat and easy. The weather was absolutely
perfect and the views were great in the clear air. As usual, I didn't see
any beavers along the way. However, I didn't see any people either, and the
still waters of Zealand Pond tranquilly reflected the green hills and pale
blue sky of the Zealand valley.
I stopped in at the hut for a brief rest. When I
got there, the overnight guests had just finished breakfast and were getting
read to head out on their days' journeys. The croo, of course, were busily
cleaning up in the kitchen, but one of them found time to sell me a t-shirt.
I strolled over to the falls for a look. The
ledges around the falls are a popular spot to hang out, relax, enjoy the
scenery, and listen to the babbling water. A few people were doing just that
when I got there.
With a long day ahead of me, I soon decided to
get moving again, and started up the Twinway. Just uphill from the hut, I
stopped to marvel at the hut's ingenious water-powered well. The well pump
is powered by running water which is diverted from the falls through a pipe,
and then returned through another pipe back to the falls further downhill.
The spinning pump motor, through a geared crank, then moves the handle of a
standard old-fashioned "pitcher" pump up and down. The pumped well water
flows into a bucket, and from there, into a third pipe where it runs
downhill by gravity to the hut.
Zealand Trailhead. For this
long day trip, I left home even earlier than usual, and was able to get started
on the hike at 5:30 AM.