AMC and My Experience in The Whites
A New Kind of Beautiful Trail
The Whites have shown me something I could never imagine among its many mountains. No longer are the wooded tunnels of the south, the Whites take a steep, rocky summit and intensify the natural wonders through fall colors and staggering rock formations. Alpine bogs litter the trail and a growing number of strenuous summit climbs reward and astound each passing day. Miles are lessened by the intensity of lifting a fifty lbs pack into rock crevices and over long slabs of slippery stone. I’ve learned a great deal of appreciation through my perseverance, and it lies in these humbling misty mountains.
The Appalachian Mountain Club
The Appalachian Mountain Club runs the many Huts and trail systems around the New Hampshire Appalachian Trail. While older than the Appalachian Trail, the AMC weaves the AT through a collection of other trails to join it to Maine. A Hut, void of electricity and wifi, provides modest and hearty soup portions at just a few dollars. Pastries or other snack type foods are also available and all well-priced. Many of the Huts offer shelter space for the weary thru-hiker with work-for-stay programs to lessen the impact of many a dry bank account. Around mid-afternoon, thru-hikers can approach a hut for basic cleaning duties or washing dishes in exchange for lodging (floor space) and /or food for the evening and breakfast on the following day. Many of the staff at these Huts are former thru-hikers, so they understand the final miles left of my trip.
Leftovers holds an unpleasant, almost peasant, vernacular, but the food is cooked, prepared and delicious. Oftentimes, it’s a literal buffet. While staying at the Mispah Hut, thru-hiker Dark Matter (pictured) and I were fed a rice and cheese confection, large portions of salad and double-layered chocolate and vanilla cake wrapped in almonds. While the costs may be high for lodging at the hut as a day hiker, the services are ample, and frankly incredible, for a weary NOBO like me. Stigma among some frugal hikers left a hesitation in my using the Huts, but was immediately swayed with the generosity of the second-most popular Hut in the Whites.
Chores including some sweeping, washing dishes, and cleaning cabinets.
Dark Matter, pictured, got her trail name from her eating extremely large portions of food.
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