Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Whites

New Hampshire! I've gotten more trail magic in this state than any other.

7/11 Porter, Pace, Toto, Crop Duster, Dreamwalker and I entered the Whites. We climbed Mt. Moosilauke and the view was gorgeous. The climb down was a bit treacherous but We received trail magic cherries and peaches at the bottom from Rock Monkey's fiancee. (We received trail magic from her parents the day before!) We said goodbye to Toto, and pushed 18 miles until Eliza Brook Shelter.

7/12 A morning climb up Mt Kinsmen in the fog lead us to our first hut. Lonesome Lake Hut had leftover pancakes so we gobbled those down. The "huts" in the Whites are places many yuppies pay $110 per person to stay. They consist of bunkrooms and include breakfast and dinner. For us thru hikers, there is no where to stay, so we have to beg to sleep on the floor in the huts and wash dishes to pay for it. They usually give us leftover dinner too. Hikers can also pay $3 for unlimited soup if you happen to pass a hut during lunchtime. We hiked into north Woodstock where we resupplied. While walking down the street, a gentlemen asked if I was a thru hiker and invited me to view his car's trunk (sounds kinda sketchy I know, haha). He then continued to offer me a array of hiker snack and dinners he didn't need anymore since his section hike was over. Talk about magic! I completely resupplied via his trunk, and headed back to the trailhead. Pace, Porter, Crop and I hiked around 4 miles straight up and stealth camped at over 4,000'. It was a bit chilly!
7/13 We awoke at 5am and did some ridge running over Mt Lincoln, Layfette, and Garfield. It was foggy, but when the clouds cleared, it was beautiful. We stopped and I ate 3 bowls of split pea soup at Galehead Hut. That evening, Crop and I decided we wanted to experience staying at a hut, so we were the lucky two thru-hikers that Zealand Hut allowed to do work for stay. Porter and Pace pushed on. After the "real" guests ate dinner, we ate leftovers with the Hut Crew, then along with another thru hiker, Spike, we bleached some shelves. Probably 30 mins of work, and we got ham, peas, mashed potatoes, salad, bread, cookies, and a warm place to stay!
7/14 I woke up at 5 and set off for Crawford Notch. Crop stayed and did more chores so he could eat breakfast at the Hut. I climbed up Webster Cliffs in perfect weather with beautiful views. Next was Mt. Jackson, a water refill at the Mizpah Hut, Mt Eisenhower, Mt Franklin and Mt Monroe. I was ridge running and saw rain clouds so I bunded up. The rain was brief and soon enough I was at the Lake of the Clouds Hut, just 1.5 miles south of Mt Washington. There were about 15 other thru hikers there! I stayed in "The Dungeon" (the basement of the hut) with Crop, Spike, and the Two Maine Boys.
7/15 I woke up early and was atop of Mt Washington by 6:45. The road wasn't open yet, so I was the only one up there! The weather was clear again, but the wind made my sweat cold. The record wind speed in the world was recorded there at 231 mph! There's also a cog railway to the top, and it's thru hiker tradition to moon it, but it didn't go by when I hiked near the track =( Crop, Spike and the Maine Boys caught up and we had lunch at Madison Hut. We hiked down a long spine ridge and my right side got way more sun than my left! We got down to Pinkham Notch where my friends Kara and Nate were waiting with Gatorades, beer, donuts and burritos! SO YUMMY. My first friends to do roadside trail magic! Thanks guys! With full bellies, we climbed up Wildcat Mnt (a ski mountain) and camped on top under the full moon.
7/16 Just 3 miles from where we camped was Carter Notch Hut, the last Hut of the Whites. We gorged on leftover pancakes, oatmeal, apple juice, etc and washed some dishes to say thanks! 18 miles later we were in Gorham, NH eating pizza and catching up on sleep.
Throughout the Whites, and before I started seeing Southbounders, or SOBOS. There are easily identified with HUGE packs, small beards, and big bellies.
I have yet to see a tick. I've heard of a handful of hikers who have gotten Lyme Disease, but I spray with Deet so maybe that's why I've been tick-free.
7/17 I'm taking a zero in Gorham today, and will be in Maine tomorrow! I pass near Bethel, Andover and Rangley, so if you live near there come say hi! My parents are planning on visiting Saturday the 23rd near Stratton. I'm predicting I'll finish on Katahdin Aug 2 or so.

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