10.3 miles, 34,739 steps, 369 stories climbed
1837.9/360.1 miles/left, 4,854,359 steps, 42,213 stories climbed
Trail Magic Moment: 57
Wow! The Whites are kicking my ass! I had a typical start to the day. Up early and packed and out of camp around 6am.
There was a steep climb out of camp but not too bad. Then I hit the ridgeline. Now, weather reports said cloudy in the morning and thunderstorms midday…WRONG!!!
As I climbed the ridge the weather deteriorated quickly. The temperatures were low, the rainfall was high, the rocks were slippery but it was the wind that was threatening me.
The wind gusts were strong enough to knock me around and make me lose balance a number of times. There were points when I just had to stand still for a few minutes to brace myself against the wind. The gusts caused horizontal rain to pelt me in the face and eyes and it hurt.
I struggled big time for each step but I kept moving. There were a few times I thought I would be blown right off the ridge as I was scared enough to turn my GPS tracker on and just let it run…just in case. I really got scared though when I heard the thunder boom.
There were no trees anywhere close and I was the tallest thing around, soaked and holding two metal lightning rods…needless to say my pace suddenly improved.
I made it off the ridge safely and back below the tree line but the tough day wasn’t over. More hiking through mud and massive puddles and over slippery rocks.
Now, a few days ago I mentioned how I had to hike next to a waterfall and had the same steep decline but today I actually had to hike down a waterfall! I looked around many times to make sure it was a part of the actual trail and it was.
It wasn’t going to be a long day, I only planned on this mileage because of the bad weather that was supposed to roll in but I was still exhausted when I finished.
I ended the day at one of the AMC huts. The huts are very nice hostels along the trail in the Whites, food is included, electric, clean, running water but they are insanely expensive (about $120 a night per person!). They have a limited amount of spots for thru-hikers to do work for stays.
I was able to get one of those spots luckily. It means I’ll get a late start tomorrow but it’ll be worth it. I also came across Crane who is doing a work for stay here as well.
The $120 includes food and us thru-hikers are allowed to eat the leftovers. Score! A warm place to stay, able to charge my gear and food, that is truly a score.
They had some leftovers from the night before, steak in a butter-garlic sauce with bread. Then for dinner they served potato soup and vegetable lasagna and brownies for dessert. There were plenty of leftovers as well.
After dinner, we were able to sleep in the common area on the floor.
I’m beat. Good night!