Thursday, 18 August
|Destination: Lake of the Clouds Hut (1860.0)||Today’s Miles:0.0|
|Start Location: Lake of the Clouds Hut (1860.0)||Trip Miles: 14.9|
Wet hikers continued to come on last night. Since the croo does not turn them away, there were about a dozen hikers sleeping on the floor of the dining room.
The croo wakes you with a song at 6:30 before breakfast at seven. They serenaded the couple that got engaged two days ago.
So Wedding Walker and I woke up to steady rain and gusty wind and fog. We decided to see what the weather was like a little later in the morning. Conditions did not seem to be improving. The temperature inside the hut is 52, colder outside. Our first two hours would be on a ridge above tree line exposed to the rain and wind. A couple of thru hikers who came in advised against hiking out saying visibility was poor. After consulting some maps and evaluating at our options we decided on a second night here.
The plan we came up to is to hike in the morning to Highland Center, which was our destination for today, catch a shuttle to the Zealand Falls Trail and end at Zealand Falls Hut. This skips a few miles of the AT but puts us back on schedule with our hut reservations.
Hiking in the White Mountains is a humbling experience. My normal hiking speed is about two miles an hour, I am happy with a mile an hour here.
There is no decent cell service here. I can get text out but not photos. When the photos show up you can see how food is carried into the huts. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the croo uses pack boards to carry on the food. Packs weigh up to one hundred pounds. Propane is helicoptered in before the season. The shortest carries of food are over two miles. Pretty impressive.
It continued to rain and blow all day but the rain seems to have finally stopped at sunset. Looking forward to getting back out tomorrow after sitting around today.