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

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Heads in the Clouds

Trekking along the top of the White Mountains has been a rainy business for our Hansel and Gretel.  They had hoped for breathtaking views, but every time they reach 5,000 feet, it's raining.  Their heads are literally in the clouds.  The rain has not slowed them down though.  They are still pumping out 20+ mile days.  One of the nice things about being the the White Mountains, is the Hut-to-Hut system that exists up there.  There are 8 huts along the ridge that are run by groups of adventurous college students.  A night's stay includes a bed along with a delicious home cooked dinner and breakfast.  The huts aren't free though.  A night's stay could be as much as $100.  The good news is, thru-hikers can do a work-for-stay.  In exchange for 2 hours of labor, they are given dinner and a bed for free.  This huts system is near and dear to Hansel and Gretel's hearts because when we were little (10-15 years old) we went up to the Whites as a family two summers in a row for a week at a time to hike the White Mountains and we stayed at almost all of these huts.  As a little kid, it was always so thrilling to see or speak to a real thru-hiker!  Now, 10 years later, Hansel and Gretel are those real thru-hikers!

Two days ago, Hansel and Gretel were shooting for Lonesome Lake Hut, but they missed it by two miles and had to camp at the Kinsman Pond Shelter.  They were pleasantly surprised when they stopped by the hut the next morning.  The staff there greeted them with pancakes, bacon, fresh bread, and cake!  They claimed the people staying in the hut were not going to eat it.  Thanks Lonesome Lake Staff!

Last night Hansel and Gretel made it to Galehead Hut... but too late for a work-for-stay spot.  They only accept two thru-hikers a night and two got in just before Hansel and Gretel (one of whom was their friend Raisins).  Luckily, the Galehead Staff was also very friendly and let Hansel and Gretel sleep on the floor of the hut for $10.  Raisins and the other thru-hiker then shared their dinners while Hansel and Gretel contributed by cooking up their own meals.  They ended up with a big pot luck!

One thing that Hansel and Gretel continue to witness on a daily basis, is the supportiveness of their fellow thru-hikers.  While hiking, each backpacker is on his own schedule, often hiking alone, but once they reach camp, everyone looks out for one another.  If someone needs something, there is no hesitation to share.  They trade food, offer advice, and look out for one another.  It's nice to know there is always someone within a few miles who understands your plight and cares enough to help you succeed.

Happy Trails!

Lonesome Lake Hut: Home of the delicious breakfast

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