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

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Carter Notch, For Better or For Worse

Carter Notch Hut has been deemed the favorite of all the huts simply because it is "SO cool!"  It sits nestled in a valley between two huge mountains with a 1,500 foot climb on either side.  Hansel and Gretel felt more in the woods and isolated than they did at any of the other huts.  They also had the best dinner, and we all know how important food can be to our dear Hansel and Gretel.  Homemade black bean burgers on homemade buns, awesome pasta salad, chili, and apple pie for desert!  Another point of interest is that Carter Notch is open year round.  There is a care taker that keeps it open for very serious winter hikers.  How they get to the hut going over the mountains in the snow and ice was more than Hansel could fathom, but it's there for the crazy adventurers who dare try it.  In those winter months, the never actually sees direct sun light because the mountains around it are so tall.  This makes the hut extremely frigid in the winter.

The down-side to Carter Notch Hut was that the staff working there left something to be desired (that is a euphemism).    Hansel and Gretel have had exceptional experiences with the staff at all the other huts.  The crew typically does an excellent job of accommodating thru-hikers and are usually very excited to hear their stories.  George at Madison was an excellent example of this.  The Carter Crew, however, just didn't seem to get it.  Hansel and Gretel were especially disappointed with this because they weren't just thru-hikers, they were paying thru-hikers with a real reservation.

When Hansel and Gretel stay at a hut, they often try to leave early in the morning so they are able to make it to their next destination.  They cover more miles per day than the casual hiker so it's important for them to hit the trail as early as possible.  At Carter, they told one of the staff members that they wanted to head out around 7.  Unfortunately this is when breakfast starts.  At other huts, the crew is always able to give something to Hansel and Gretel before the other guests eat.  This Carter crew member didn't seem to understand this but said they usually start preparing at 6:30.  So, 6:30am Hansel and Gretel stood in an empty dinning room listening to the echos of distant snorers.  Food preparations started at 6:45 and Hansel and Gretel ended up with some oatmeal and pancakes to go.  Gretel was so angry.  They were just so accustom to the staff being awesome, and the Carter Crew was a huge disappointment.  At least the hut itself was amazing.

They quickly forgot their frustration with Carter Crew because the Trail that day was very difficult.  They had to climb over three mountains!  The day ended at the White Mountain Hostel, which was terrific.  They were actually given spare clothes so they could wash all their dirty laundry.  The people running the hostel took them to the store for a resupply and then to dinner!  They are a little behind schedule mostly because of their delays before Madison Hut, they are hoping they will be able to make up some time in Maine. The Whites are a really difficult part of the trail and Hansel and Gretel have been pushing themselves extremely hard to stay on track.  Right now they expect to finish on the 18th or 19th of July.  The end is near!!

Happy Trails!

Beautiful sunset views before getting to Carter Notch Hut

Gretel pauses to admire the view.  The Whites truly are magnificent!

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