Date: October 18-19
Weather: Cold and Sunny (high 30s during the day, high 20s during the night)

Our trip started on Friday night after we rocked out to the Black Crowes concert in Boston and set up camp at Hancock Campground on the Kancamagus Highway. We got there at 1:30am, hitched up the Eureka, tossed in the rollpads and cold-weather bags and crashed out.

We woke up to a very cold and frosty Saturday morning. Good thing Jeff had the excellent idea to store some McDonald's coffees in the pump-pot so we'd have hot drinks while we packed up.

We met Jimmy Legs and Little D (hi again - great TR!!!) while gearing up at the trailhead, we poured our last cup of hot coffee for the morning and got started on the Hancock Notch trail at about 8:30am. The first 2.5 miles of the trip were relatively flat. There were a few stream crossings, but the water was low and the muddy parts were frozen so our boots stayed pretty clean.

When we got to the Hancock Loop Trail, we set up camp and switched to day packs. The site was great, Jeff put up the new tent and I collected some wood. It looked very cozy when we left and I was looking forward to relaxing by the fire later.

We started up the Hancock Loop Trail (more like Hancock Lollipop Trail) around noon and chose to summit the North Hancock first. This .7 miles was fairly steep, and the top of the trail became very loose. I called for the sherpas but they never came. The top offered us a perfect lunch spot, complete with big boulders and great views. I wish I had known at the time that we were looking right at the 5 peaks we had done a month earlier. Pretty awesome!

After feeding ourselves and the resident birds, we traversed between the peaks to the summit of the South Hancock. This part of the trail was easy, very muddy in parts, and very cold. The wind was bitter on the south facing side of the trail. The summit of South Hancock was unspectacular so we just took a picture and hiked back to camp. The descent of this peak was also very steep and loose in parts, but we made it to our base around 4:30.

Here we enjoyed a very warm fire, some Grey Goose orange, Beef Stroganoff and Chicken and Rice. It was a really fun time and we called it around 7:38pm.

We woke up to yet another cold morning - ice on the tent poles and VERY cold boots!! 30 degrees!

Jeff made us some piping hot coffee while we packed up the site, and then another cup of piping hot hot chocolate with marshmallows. It really hit the spot and got us ready for our simple trek back to the car. The 2.5 mile walk back took us an easy 1:10 and we were on the road at 9:45am.

Again, it was another awesome trip. I'm really happy that my interest has re-awakened Jeff's love of backpacking and the outdoors. He's already started planning our next one and we're looking forward to getting back up to the Whites very soon!!

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