My week in the White mountains was one to remember. I finally caught up to my 3 buddies from Minnesota and I hiked with them all week. The trail in the Whites goes over the Presidential Range of mountains and over the famous Mount Washington.
We started the section out with a steep rocky and WINDY climb up Mount Madison. Once you pass the tree line the wind is nuts. At some points over 100km/hour, no joke. It almost blew me over on a few occasions, and it was the first time that I wish I was carrying a heavier pack to keep me grounded.
In the White Mountains they have a bunch of Huts/Hostels for school groups, families and hikers to stay in over night and they serve meals there too. Since the huts are pricey and up so high on the mountains they allow Thru Hikers to work for their stay at the huts or even just work for their meals. We took advantage of that on a few occasions. The huts actually want us to come eat their food because otherwise they have to carry the left overs back down the mountain.
At some Huts all I had to do was sweep the floor, scrub the stove or wipe a table and I was allowed to eat my weight in chicken breast, salad, fresh bread, mashed potatoes, peas and brownies. For breakfast I usually ate a tall stack of pancakes, eggs and coffee! What a deal that was, and they even let us sleep in the hut… granted it was on the dinning room floor, but inside and out of the wind. For the most part on the trail so far I felt like I was getting thinner and thinner, but with all the food in the Whites I think I was able to maintain, which is a goooood feeling.
The 4 of us also camped on a cliff edge and had some good times looking at sunsets and shooting stars at night. We made some really low millage days and enjoyed every minute of the Whites.
On my last day in the whites I woke up early to hike out 13 miles over Lafayette Ridge down to Crawford Notch to meet my best friend and her family. It was a really sunny day and I got buuuurned. I had just enough cell phone battery left to call her and say meet me at the Flume visitor center… and my phone died. As I walked towards the visitor center I saw a car pull over, window roll down and hands waving at me. As tired and hot as I was you can bet that I ran as fast as I could with my back pack on to go hug my friends! Best feeling ever!
I crossed the state line into New Hampshire yesterday! Its such a cool feeling to know that I walked from one state to another. We took pictures at the state line sign and then kept on going. It was a 19 mile day, my longest yet. We left the shelter at 6 am and got into town by 6:30 pm, hitched a ride to the nearest gas station, got slushies and chips and ate them in the park. Another great day.
Tomorrow I start hiking in the White Mountains. I was at the library today and looked at a picture book of the Whites, they look AMAZING!!! I am so excited to get out there, and to top it all off, my best friend and her family are coming to New Hampshire in a week or so to see me! Definite motivation to get moving and kick some mountain butt. 😛
Live free or die is the State motto by the way. I’m still learning what it means, but if you know me, you know I love free stuff… hahaha.
The last few days have been really tough. We are getting into the “notchy” area of the trail which means lots of ups and downs. Some days I barely crawl into the shelter at night having had my butt kicked earlier that day by first going up a big mountain, and then the more painful down. My knees are getting stronger though and they hurt a lot less now on the down hills and I can move a lot faster.
The other day I hiked 7 miles down hill to a road and was planning to hitch into a small town called Andover. But over the course of half an hour only about 6 cars drove past me, a few stopped to chat but none gave me a ride. Finally a white car turned the corner and stopped right away and a man got out. I was excited but then when I saw who got out I was really shocked, it was a Sheriff! He gave me a ride into town, but not before he got my name and did a quick background check. I was pretty impressed with myself getting a ride with a Sheriff and all. There were other hikers in town hanging out outside the store when I pulled up in the coolest ride ever. That was my first time in a cop car, and luckily I was in the front seat.
I did my shopping and met a fellow Canadian in the store. We are rare out here, I haven’t met many other Canadians and most are from Quebec. So Goose and I decided to hitch back to the trail together after I finished my greasy clam strips, cod fish nuggets and waffle fries. We walked to the road and hadn’t stuck out our thumbs for more than a minute and a car stopped, we were happy! As the round, hairy faced women opened the door to the trunk, I looked in a saw hay, the first clue this was gonna be a weird ride. Then as she opened the side doors for us her little dog jumped out and she went after it. Then her big husky type dog, Nya, jumped out, this is when the problems started… “Nya doesn’t listen. She doesn’t come when she’s called”. We drove around town, chased Nya, tried to bribe her with cheese that some guy gave us, and honked the horn for over 45 minutes trying to get her back. Goose and I were feelin’ pretty uneasy by this time and wanted out. Finally, while the lady was out running after her dog, swearing and yelling (it wasn’t pretty), me and Goose exchanged some awkward glances and decided to get the heck out of there! We grabbed the keys from the ignition and ran for the trunk to unlock it and get our bags! Just as we got them she came around the corner and saw us… awkward!
We got outta there, but it took us another 30 minutes to get a ride, and hairy dog lady was long gone by then. At first we weren’t sure if we made the right choice, but then we thought about it for 5 more seconds and decided we didn’t like being in a stinky car or chasing dogs, or weird swearing ladies. All I wanted was a ride…
Once at the trail Goose and I had a heart to heart about why we were on the trail. Then I hiked another 5 miles past the shelter and slept in a notch between 2 mountain peaks with no one else around. I had a great view from the top of where I had come in the past few days. It was a long day full of excitement and I slept my best sleep yet in my little yellow tent.