We started the White Mountains today! Leaving from the hostel, Yonder and I were the only two people who walked northbound with our full packs. I was strict about doing this South to North, with as much as I could carry.
My leg had almost stopped hurting now, and I was no longer limping at all. I felt excited to get through the Whites as quickly as possible without further injury. The climb was not as bad as I had imagined. When we hit tree line we walked into a cloud, so it was cold and windy on top of the mountain. We happily looked out into the fog, wondering what a clear view might look like. The White Mountains were there, but all we could see was white.
As we came down the other side of the mountain, we encountered Sam and Billy for the last time! It was awesome to go over the Moose with Sam, even if it was in passing.
Then the trail got bad, then it got worse, then we were climbing down a sheer face alongside a waterfall. The reason everyone went south without packs was very clear as we grasped re-bar and shuffled down the slick rock. I was exhausted by the time we reached the bottom of the mountain. I felt alright physically, but my mind was tired of thinking about foot placement and walking.
Yonder and I sat down for a break and decided we both needed a beer. We walked out to the access road and hitched into Woodstock to have a craft beer at the brewery. We had a couple and were debating food when Rocket Turtle appeared from the crowd and invited us to dinner. Rocket Turtle and his gang ended up treating us to dinner and drove us back to trail in the dark, leaving us in the forest as it started raining.
Thank you Rocket Turtle! You took a difficult day and turned it magical!!!! I was super glad that they packed us into their tiny car and didn’t have reservations about putting us back on trail. Many people would have thought we were crazy wanting to be left in the woods at night.
The next morning it was still raining, so we hitched into Lincoln again and spent the day drinking coffee and staying warm. I promised myself that I would wait for the weather to break in the White Mountains because it was just too beautiful to miss. We hitched back to trail with a fun seasonal worker who was helping people zip-line at the tourist park in town. This was my first introduction to the guide sub-culture. We stayed the night at the foot of Kinsman, hoping that the rain would break.