We walked into the Rattling River Hostel just after 11am, setting us up for a good half a rest day. It might seem as if we are resting a lot but we honestly need it. I don’t know if it is the cumulative effect of 3000km on our legs, or the gruelling time in the Whites (it’s as hard to go steep downhill as it is to go steep uphill so you are challenged all the time as you always go up or down) or a combination but we are quite fatigued.
Last night Firefly arrived at the campsite we were at and I was relieved to see her, she has been messed around by the bad weather on Mt Washington and had to pull off a huge day yesterday to get where she needed to be. She is a stunning woman doing this all by herself because she has been to too many funerals lately and decided one has to live life fully. She is just 5 years younger than me. I took this picture of her maybe 5 days ago:
At the hostel we bumped into Martha Stewart, another superb guy we met maybe 10 days ago – if I had a daughter I would have brought him back to SA as a son in law: energetic, intelligent, always laughing, kind, generous:
The hostel is great. Well organised, welcoming, comfortable, positive energy: much better than the one we stayed at in Gorham. And we paid a bit extra to get n private room. Many hostels display this sign:
Love you mom xxx
I have to sort out our nutrition for the next few days. Trevor said we should pack for 3 days to not carry too heavy, but I see I have enough food for 5 days. I can either donate some stuff (put it in the hiker box) or we can delay our next stop by 2 days, I need to look at the schedule to see what the options are.
We are done with the Whites. It nearly broke my spirit. Everybody we spoke to before we started said it is spectacular but with the bad weather we had we saw very little. And boy, was it tough. I think the people who tell us how beautiful it is are day hikers or summit baggers (climbing all the 4000 footers), the thru-hikers who has to do this day after day for 7 to 14 days (depending on speed) just shake their heads and say “it’s tough”.
Being through the Whites doesn’t mean we are on the victory lap yet. Many say to not underestimate the southern part of Maine as it is as tough as the Whites. So we need to stay focused and motivated.
Up to ten days ago we have really enjoyed the AT. We kept going because we were having the time of our lives. At the moment it is more about Vasbyt than about Enjoyment, but we believe that in a week or so (with south of Maine done) our bodies will be comfortable again and we will hopefully be back in Enjoyment mode for the last few weeks). We are not on our own, the NOBOs around us all feel the same. That is great about hostel stays, you are meeting the other hikers socially and get to see how everyone feels the same as you do!