Monday, 15 August
|Destination: Joe Dodge Lodge (1874.9)
|Today’s Miles: 0
Back in September of 2020 while hiking with my regular partner, Bob, we spent a rainy night in a shelter with another hiker, Wedding Walker, and four recent high school graduates. Wedding Walker, Steve, is my age and from Chicago. Wedding Walker and I carried nearly all the same equipment. He has been section hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) as well. We have kept in touch since then letting each other know about sections we completed.
Back in March, Wedding Walker (WW) sent me an email describing his plan to hike the White Mountains in New Hampshire south for 160 miles. WW has been hearing the same thing that I have been hearing “You have to hike the Whites while you are young.” Neither of us are getting younger. The Whites are often described as the most difficult section of the AT. The trail crosses Mount Washington which is described as having some of the worst weather conditions in the world.
WW’s plan was to hike from hut to hut through the Whites. The huts are cabins with bunks, water and privies but no electricity maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). AMC croos (yes, spelled correctly) provide breakfast and dinner. By going hut to hut we can reduce our pack weight by not carrying tents, sleeping pads, or a stove. This and the shorter distances between huts should make this a little easier. The big variable is weather. After 60-70 miles, we will have the Whites behind us and plan to pick up our daily mileage finishing up in Rutland, Vermont. After a little bit of effort I was able to match up my reservations with WW’s.
So Dolora and I were off for a week’s vacation before meeting up with WW. First stop was near Bear Mountain to visit the top of the tower that I skipped earlier in June. Alas, the tower was closed so Dolora and I headed to Rutland to drop off a box for when I finish this sectiom – a bad to hold my pack and poles along with some clothes to fly home in. The Inn at Long Trail is our finishing point. It is an old hiking/ski club lodge with and interesting history and neat design incorporating large bolders into the design of the building.
Next up was the Lakes Region of New Hampshire for a couple days. We celebrated Dolora’s birthday while visiting local sites and staying is a tiny Air B&B cabin. Then off to Concord, NH for a couple days.
Today we were off early to visit Saint-Gaudens National Historical Site letting Dolora get another stamp in her National Parks passport. From there it was a stop at Hikers Welcome Hostel to drop off my tent, sleeping pad, stove and some food for when we leave the huts behind. I am spending the night at Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch where I will be meeting WW after his flight from Chicago and a bus ride. We start tomorrow after breakfast with 4.000 feet of ascent over seven miles climbing above tree line.
Dolora and I checked out the Pinkham Notch Visitor’s Center and I got checked in. We said our goodbyes about three and she headed back to Concord, NH. I have been doing a little texting with WW and he is on schedule to arrive after eight. Dinner was a buffet with salad, bread, pork, eggplant lasagna, potatoes and brussel sprouts with cake for dessert. I packed a to-go container for WW.
A short chat with Dolora then a shower and await WW’s arrival. Breakfast starts tomorrow at 6:30, then we are off about seven miles and 4,000 feet of ascent to our first hut.
Wedding Walker will be maintaining his trail journal as well: Wedding Walker Trail Journal – Bookmark This!