I was nervous for this hike. I usually hike with the same friends because we have a groove. I am not a quick hiker, I am more of a laid-back, enjoy every view type. I was nervous for this hike because I was going with a new friend who seemed very experienced in the outdoors. I was worried that she would be a fast hiker and that I would feel pressured to push my physical limits on the trip. I quickly found out that I was wrong and that once again, my mind built up unneeded anxiety.
My friend Emily and I ventured north to Franconia Notch State Park. We were set to hike up the lonesome lake trail. Starting in the Lafayette campground parking lot, we dove under a steel barricade and began our trek. The trail was packed powder which was helpful because we were lacking microspikes or snowshoes (a winter hiking faux pas). In my head, I imagined a generally flat trail but it proved to be the opposite. The trail rose quickly and wound through the forest, with peek-a-boo views of Franconia Ridge behind us.
We came to a junction and the lake laid before us. We could either take the trail around the lake to the AMC hut or bravely walk across the lake. In the distance we saw a few people standing in the middle of the lake and decided to go right across. Once in the middle, we turned and behind us were the beautiful snow-covered peaks of Franconia Ridge. It’s hard to believe I have been up there, when from this vantage point it seemed so high and far away.
We walked over to the AMC hut and warmed up while enjoying the decor of the wooden-clad interior. After regaining feeling in our fingers, we decided that it was time to brave the cold again and head back. We started back on the trail and found that the best method of getting down was slowly sliding from tree to tree since we didn’t have proper traction. We laughed, fell, and got back to car with some snow still stuck to us. I had a great day and found that I misjudged my friendship with Emily. She didn’t care about my hiking physicality and was actually just as experienced as I was. Overall, this day helped strengthen our friendship on and off of the trail.