Last night it rained harder than I’ve ever experienced before. It started at 9:30 p.m. and continued until 3:00 a.m. I like to hear the sound of rain on the tent but this was more like a roar. Between the wind and the rain it was a crazy night and Big Agnes handled it all very well. I was really thankful that it stopped so that I didn’t have to pack things up in the rain.
Trail conditions were terrible because of all the rain and the first few miles were pretty slow as I tried hard to step around the puddles. Eventually my feet were soaked anyway so I sped up and just plowed through all of the water obstacles.
With about 2.5 miles to go I stopped to call a man who shuttles hikers from the trailhead to Manchester and made arrangements for him to meet me at 11:30. He was right on time and the ride into town was very quick. First stop was the pizza parlor and then I went to an outfitter, Eastern Mountain Sports, to get new hiking pole tips, a map of the White Mountains in New Hampshire and a couple of dehydrated backpacker meals. Finally I went to the Price Chopper grocery store and got enough food for the next few days.
Then I called Jeff, the owner if the Green Mountain House Hostel, and he came and picked me up. His hostel is fantastic – the best I’ve seen so far on the AT. There are two other hikers here at the hostel, Ratman and Tumbler, who are also known as the Honeymoon Hikers. They were married on Springer Mountain and have hiked the AT twice. Now they’re hiking the Long Trail but the bad weather has made them change their plans and they’re going to drive around the Northeast and do some day hikes.
We’ve had a lot of fun talking about our AT experiences and they gave me a lot of good tips about the remaining part of the trail. It’s really exciting to hear them talk about it.
Tomorrow Jeff is taking me to the trailhead at 6:30 and I’m planning to hike about 20 miles. Hopefully the weather will not be too bad. We seem to be in a regular pattern of rain every day – at least for the next week. I guess the farmers and gardeners are loving it!
Here’s a photo of the hostel.