The epic journey of a sibling pair as they trek 2,181 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachia Trail.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The 100 Mile Wilderness: White House Landing

White House Landing: advertised as "an oasis with the 100 Mile Wilderness."  Hansel and Gretel stayed here their last night of the 100 miles.  The method of access to get to White House Landing was truly unique.  The hostel is located about a mile off the trail.  Hansel and Gretel had to wind their way along the shore of another lovely Maine lake until they came out to a dock.  From the dock, they were able to see the house across the lake.  At the end of the dock, there was a fog horn.  They tooted the fog horn and a guy came out of the house and boarded a little boat which he used to cross the lake and collect Hansel and Gretel.

White House Landing had a few private cabins where hikers could stay, though these were a little more expensive than the bunk house where Hansel and Gretel slept.  The house had no electricity and the pluming was fed straight from the water in the lake which the owners of the hostel pumped every day.  For this reason, they asked that showers be restricted to as few minutes as possible.  The water was warmed by solar heat.  They didn't have a true bathroom.  Just a compost privy.  For dinner, you could pay for one of two options.  You could either have a 1-pound burger or a 14-inch pizza.  Hansel selected the burger and Gretel got the pizza... although, Hansel ended up consuming half of Gretel's pizza since she got full after 4 slices.  "Gretel wimped out," Hansel explained.  For desert they had homemade whoopee pies- a Maine staple!

The next morning, the White House Landing care takers agreed to serve breakfast at 7am so that Hansel and Gretel could hit the trail as early as possible.  They planned on leaving their packs at the hostel where Two Bad, mom, and I could hike in and pick them up so that they would be able to slack pack a 31 mile day to finish the 100 Mile Wilderness.  Also staying at the hostel were two South Bounders, just beginning their AT excursion toward Georgia.  Hansel and Gretel finished their breakfast quickly and prepared their day packs so they were ready to go.  They would have to take the boat back across the lake in order start, but the two South Bounders were moving very slowly.

"Hey, we're ready to go when you are," Hansel said to them in an effort to get them to move it along.  Apparently Hansel was a litte too subtle and these South Bounders just didn't get the hint that they really wanted to leave asap.  Their boat driver was also fully prepared and the three of them were just kinda sitting around waiting for the other hikers to get it together.

Finally the boat man said, "You know what?  Screw 'em!  I'll waste the gas.  I don't care."  Once on the boat and out of ear shot he expressed a few more sentiments.

"These f***ing South Bounders.  THey don't know what they're doing.  You guys are quick.  You have it together.  You know what you're doing.  But these South Bounders, they take forever.  You're always waiting on them.  They piss me off."

And he was kind of right too.  North Bounders have the routine down.  By the time they reach Maine, they are very efficient and they understand how important their time and energy is.  Nothing is waisted.  South Bounders have not yet realized this.  The guys running White House Landing were also extremely efficient, so they appreciated Hansel and Gretel's timeliness.  It was very kind of the boat man to take Hansel and Gretel across early, because they certainly did have a long day ahead of them.

Later that day, mom, Two Bad and I hiked into the woods to retrieve Hansel and Gretel's packs.  There was a road that took us to the edge of the woods, and then we had to walk about .5 miles to the house.  Well, we would have had to walk .5 miles if we had taken that left turn at the start of the trail.  Instead we hiked about three quarters of a mile until mom called the White House Landing to clarify the directions.  Even driving in was kind of crazy.  There were no real street signs.  Instead we were given land marks.  "It's the third turn marked by a boulder that has graffiti on it.  Then turn left at the place with a hundred signs (*see picture bellow)."  Somehow in all those directions, we missed the left turn at the start of the hiking trail.  So our 1 mile pack retrieval ended up being a 2.5 mile pack retrieval.  This was my first time hiking since breaking my ankle, but luckily the trail was flat and tame, so the 2.5 miles were nothing too worry about.  We got their packs, took some pictures, and headed to the hotel.

Happy Trails!

The left turn marked by 100 signs to get to White House Landing.

Mom and Two Bad looking out at the lake at White House Landing.  You can see the small motor boat that brought Hansel and Gretel across the lake.

Me, Two Bad, and Mom at White House Landing, collecting Hansel and Gretel's packs.

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