Day 47 (White Mountain Lodge and Hostel, Gorham NH)

No miles today.

The weather forecast was for rain and thunderstorms all day. This is my first “zero day” on the trail.

I stayed at the hostel most of the day catching up on Facebook posts, watching movies, and napping. The hostel shuttle driver took us in to town for lunch, dinner, and Walmart shopping.

I hope to hike into Maine tomorrow. Twisted is here but he is now 21 miles behind me on the trail so we will say goodbye tomorrow. It was fun having someone to hike with for a couple days but I’m looking forward to being solo once again on the trail.

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Day 44 (Mt. Webster to Madison Springs Hut)

I slept great in my tent last night. This morning, I started hiking around 6:45. I finished climbing Mt. Webster first thing. Great views and the perfect weather meant there were a lot of weekend hikers on the trail.

I knew it was supposed to rain tomorrow so I planned to hike over Mt. Washington today. On the summit of Mt. Jackson, Twisted caught up with me and we decided to hike together. This is the first time I’ve hiked most of the day with someone since starting my trip. He wasn’t sure he had the energy to hike over Mt. Washington but I convinced him it was best. This range in the White Mountains is called the Presidential Range. A lot of the mountains are named after US Presidents.

We stopped by the Mizpah Spring Hut for a morning snack and coffee. We hiked near the summits of Mt. Eisenhower and Mt. Franklin before stopping at the Lake of the Clouds Hut for lunch. They gave us free leftovers from last night’s dinner. We also bought some soup and dessert.

Next we hiked over Mt. Washington. The views were incredible! So glad I had pretty weather for this section. We stopped by the snack bar for a snack….of course…..and then started our trek to the next hut. We were hoping to do wfs but knew we might be too late.

The hiking of the Presidential Range is very slow and tedious. We were hiking on large rocks with rough irregular surfaces. Often times I had to put my trekking poles aside to use my hands to pull me up to the next rock. Also, we were above treeline most of the day. We didn’t make it to the Madison Springs Hut until 8:00.

Storm and Apollo were already doing work for stay but the croo chief didn’t want to send us away because she knew the weather was about to get bad. She let us stay and do chores after breakfast. They had plenty of leftovers from dinner so we ate very well. Because it was the weekend and we were close to Mt. Washington, the hut was full of guests. They enjoyed asking us questions about our hikes. I’m so glad we were inside because the storms came in about 10:00 and stayed all night. Storms above treeline have incredible winds.

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Day 43 (Galehead Hut to stealth site on Mt. Webster)

It was pouring rain when we woke up at Galehead Hut so Twisted and I decided to stay for breakfast in hopes the rain would stop. Normally, work-for-stay hikers have to wait until after the guests eat before they can eat. However, the crew at Galehead was great. They served us breakfast as if we were guests along with the two paying customers.

We started hiking around 8:15. We had originally talked about trying a 21 mile day but knew the late start would make that almost impossible.

I started the day with a rocky ascent and descent of South Twin Mountain. I was in the clouds so no views from the top. Mother Nature, Between, Twisted and I all had lunch at the Zealand Falls Hut. I’m really getting spoiled by the food at these huts.

Twisted wasn’t having a great day so he decided to use the AMC shuttle to go in to town. Mother Nature and Between decided to stop at a campsite a couple miles after lunch. I was feeling good so I kept hiking until Mt. Webster. Luckily, the weather has cleared up so I enjoyed some beautiful views. The weather is also supposed to be good for my climb up Mt. Washington tomorrow.

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Day 42 (Lonesome Lake Hut to Galehead Hut)

Twisted and I started hiking about 6:30. We didn’t wait on the croo to serve breakfast because we would have to wait too long. We hiked together for a bit and then I stopped to takes some pictures and find a tree. We didn’t see each other again until dinner.

I hiked with Mother Nature and Between some before lunch. We hiked Franconia Ridge which includes Mt. Liberty, Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Lincoln, and Mt. Lafayette (5260 ft). We were above treeline for 2 miles. The weather was perfect!

I stopped to cook my lunch on Mt. Lafayette. I enjoyed talking to two men while I finished eating my lunch. One gave me a pear to enjoy later. It was a yummy afternoon snack. (Trail Magic!)

Next I hiked Mt. Garfield. The Germans were camping there but I decided to push on to the next hut. When I got there I was happy to find out that Twisted and I would be doing “work for stay” (wfs) together again. Only 2 thru hikers get to do wfs. In exchange for doing a 20-30 minute chore, we get to eat leftovers from the guest’s dinner and sleep in the dining room. It is raining tonight so it is great to be inside with a very full stomach.

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Day 41 (Mt. Wolf to Lonesome Lake Hut)

I woke up early and started hiking by 5:45. No rain but it was very chilly. I decided to stop by the first shelter, the Eliza Brook Shelter, and make a cup of coffee.

Twisted had stayed at the shelter last night and was getting ready to leave. We sat and talked about yesterday’s hike. We were both surprised at the difficulty and how tired we felt today. Neither one of us made our goal miles yesterday. We decided to meet for lunch at Lonesome Lake Hut and he headed on out while I finished my coffee.

I knew my daily miles would decrease in the Whites but I plan to make up for it when I head south. The climb up Kinsman Mountain (elevation 4358 ft) was strenuous but the views were awesome and the sun felt great. I stayed on top of Kinsman for a while enjoying the view. Then I descended to the hut.

On the way, I started feeling very sleepy. When I got to the hut, Twisted said he was going to do “work for stay” and I should get the other spot quickly. We hung out at the hut eating leftovers and visiting with other thru hikers (Mother Nature, Between, Cookie Monster, and Happy Feet). We had a fun dinner with the hut croo. Our after dinner chore was to move some firewood.

We are sleeping on the dining room floor tonight. We will need to get up early tomorrow before the guests have breakfast. Short mileage day but feeling rested and well feed.

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View from south peak of Mt. Kinsman

View from south peak of Mt. Kinsman