white mountains lodge: hiker haven and halfway house for former thruhiker trash…
White Mountain Lodge, shelburne, new hampshire, 23 september 2013
I just noticed the date. It has been just over six months (plus a day) since I walked up some very steep metal stairs along a picturesque Amicalola Falls in Georgia. I started that hike with a veritable motely crue of hikers…
Ah..the legendary trail angel Miss Janet just walked in so this entry’s going to have to be pause for a bit…
ok, here we go.
I started with a random bunch and some have already already gained the summit at Katadhin. Few are on their way still. Few others made it as far as they could before different strings started tugging at their sleeves. Still, most from the first night at the hiker hostel have made it well beyond the half way point. A real accomplishment, given the weather we had. the only hiker, as far as i am aware, who was with me on the very first night, aptly or unfortunately named banana shake dry, didn’t make it. he quit on the third day after having slept on the concrete floor of a public bathroom at woody gap. i call him banana shake dry because he had brought a hatchet, climbing shoes, but only a small square of sham-wow for a towel. asked why the small towel, he mentioned that he would just shake dry on the trail, as a joke. the story is that he didn’t quite practice how to set up his hammock ahead of time and was caught in a terrible storm on our second night out. his hammock flooded during the night, so he crawled into another hiker’s tent to stay dry, then proceeded to night hike to the gap, slept in the cold concrete toilet floor and took the first hitch out of town never to be seen again.
poor banana shake dry. i hope he made it back onto the trail.
I reached the summit at Katahdin on the 17th of September, five days short of six months on the trail. That too with well over 45 zero days.
I had a few entries written during this time but it was quite cumbersome. Timing never worked out and I am bound to revisit those entries and my pictures. I am sure my intermittent notes on guide books and photographs taken along the trail will jostle my memory and string a few narratives.
needless to say, perhaps, that much has happened and I am still processing events and moments I have long since hiked past.
Still, I owe it to myself to write some of these down and subject these experience to a bit of introspection. It will be selective, admittedly, but i’ll try my best.
So, yeah, I am staying as a work-for-stay employee at the White Mountain Lodge and Hostel in Shelburne. This hostel, as some of you hiker trash already know, is the new project of one of our hiker buddies’ mum. And it is beautiful, clean and wonderfully hospitable. It is also a half way home for some of us wayward thru hikers who can’t tear ourselves away from the trail and hiker trash lifestyle after Katahdin. There are three of us former thru hikers here at the moment, lending a hand running the place: running shuttles, breakfast, housekeeping, etc. our staff at the moment are vitamin c, s’rocket, and me along with marnie’s son we affectionately call buzz killington even though he isn’t a thru hiker
I’ve been eating. A lot. So I went on my first run today. My new Saloman trail runners are quite nice and felt great running the 2 mile to the shelter and the 2 back to the hostel. I even put in some push ups, dips and even crunches.
Oh, I shaved off my hiker beard (most of it) and hair (all of it). The goatee stays!
so this is it, just a brief note to warm up my typing fingers…i’ll start updating this journal regularly and it will totally reflect MO: non linear and sporadic, but with less pictures (the computer here is not very fast and when coupled with even slower internet…well, let’s just say, that I rather just type than dealing with pictures.
so, yes….expect posts
Hikertrash NOBO 2013!!!
Swami Bittergoat didder done dat Mt.Katahdin