Last days in the Whites
We woke and packed up quickly. Most of our stuff was wet from the rain but knowing we had time later in the day to dry it made us quick to just stuff it all in our bags. Drying your things is the eternal hiker struggle.
We moved quickly over Wolf Mountain, although it felt never ending knowing food was waiting for us. We made our way to Kinsman Notch and found another former thru-hiker offered trail magic in the parking lot. We enjoyed some sodas and popsicles while waiting for Kurt. We didn’t have to wait too long before he came flying into the parking lot in all of his blue Subaru glory. He had some Gatorade and fruit for us to munch on as well as some things for our resupply.
We tossed our bags in and headed for the hotel where we swam and enjoyed the hot tub. We had lunch at the always delicious Woodstock Inn and Brewery.
We did some laundry and had a great dinner at One Love Brewery. Eric beat Kurt at cribbage and we enjoyed the warm summer weather.
We started the day with the breakfast of champions aka free breakfast at the hotel. We took full advantage to fuel up for the long day ahead. This morning we will have our last summit in the White Mountains. It’s very bittersweet but we are excited to get back on trail and into some new terrain.
We tried to beat the heat as much as we could and started hiking early. Kurt walked us back to the trail head where he picked us up and wished us luck. We are so fortunate to have someone like Kurt in our life. He said it best himself, “If your child had a passion, wouldn’t you do anything you could to help him live/fulfill that passion?”. We couldn’t be more grateful to have him so active in our journey. The AT is a special place and we often depend on the kindness of others and we appreciate the kindness Kurt always shows us. He brings us resupplies, he ferries us around to get laundry done and most importantly he sits and patiently watches us eat multiple times in the space of a few hours. We truly are so lucky, thank you!
We started the long steep climb up to Mt. Mooselauke. This climb we’ve done many times as day hikers as it’s one of our favorites but carrying a 30+ pound backpack makes it a whole different story. We just put our heads down and took one step at a time. Sweat dripped and we looked like we jumped in the ocean by the end of it but we made it to the summit. At times the trail was steeper than the waterfall we followed. We were so fortunate to have a clear day with a slight breeze to take the edge off the heat.
We love the unusual feel of the summit: bald, round and minimal rocks. Large cairnes escorted us as we drank in our amazing final views of the White Mountains with a happy but heavy heart. After this summit we would be out of the Whites, the boogeyman of the AT and our beloved home. Most thru-hikers (SOBO and NOBO alike) are always thinking and talking about the Whites. It’s the most technical, tough and quite frankly stressful part of the trail with all the crowds, camping logistics and rules to protect nature itself.
A large group of Dartmouth students arrived at the summit as we did so we skipped the photo with the summit sign and ended up sitting with some NOBOs. We shared some information and made our way down from the summit. We easily crushed the next 10 miles down and through the PUDs (pointless, ups and downs) to our destination for the night. We hit the 400 mile mark and we enjoyed the DOCs humor on one of the PUDs, Mount Mist. It was nice to have some rolling hills and trails with minimal large rocks.
Our destination for the night was The Greenhouse, owned by a very outgoing and kind couple, Gary and Cheryl, who are very welcoming to hikers. They allowed us to camp on the lawn near the restaurant. We laughed at our greeting that was shouted through the window as we approached the restaurant, “What do you filthy animals think you are doing? You go around to the side door!”, now that’s some real Northeast love for you. We were provided with water, wifi and generally made very comfortable for the night. This place needs to be a destination for every thru-hiker. It’s only .2 from the trail and very easy to find.
We enjoyed some of drinks and pizza while listening to some live music. Gary also put on a hiker YouTube channel on the TV above the bar for us. We walked across the lawn to our tent, content and grateful for this amazing experience to end our last few days in New Hampshire.
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