Day 157 – August 11 – 8.0 miles – Imp Campsite to Rt 2. (Gorham NH)
Elevation Change: 4888 feet
It was the second day in a row where we had a view right away. From the spot where we had dinner the night before, we could see into the cloud filled valleys off in the distance.
As soon as we left camp, we began to climb Mt Moriah. As we climbed, the skies cleared. By the time we got to the top, we had views in all directions.
Looking ahead, we could see the remainder of the mountains left in New Hampshire, and possibly the first mountains of Maine.
Looking behind us we could see a little of the Wildcat range, the Carter Range, and the Presidential Range. As we looked at them we realized that, over the last three days, we had gone over them all. What an adventure!
Mt Moriah was the last significant mountain that we had to climb in the Whites. By the end of the day we will have successfully made it through the Whites. Another major milestone checked off the list.
As excited as we are to be close to Maine, we are also a little sad. This has been the best time in our lives. To see the end looming on the horizon, gave us mixed emotions.
The trail went steeply down the other side of the mountain for a little while before descending at a reasonable grade.
It was around that time when the Tramily and Shoo Bear came to the 300 mile marker. 300 miles left, that is.
After the 300 to go mile marker, we bumped into Re-wire, Outlaw, and OMG. We decided to walk with them for the final 2 miles left in the day.
We talked and shared stories, and basically had a great time walking in the woods with friends.
When we got to the parking lot at Rt 2, we met a guy in the parking lot giving out trail magic. He had summited (Katahdin) a week or two ago and felt the need to give back to the trail.
While we drank soda, we began to say our goodbyes to Re-wire and Outlaw. Their month long journey had come to an end. They had hiked one of the most difficult parts of the trail, and they even kept up with the Thru Hikers. They had a lot to be proud of.
We took a group shot (sadly with their camera) before the group disbanded. Saying goodbye was a little emotional. No one was crying or anything like that. It was just the feeling of loss that comes from the parting of new found friends.
Soon, a old white Cadillac pulled into the parking lot. Our shuttle had arrived.
The drivers name was Paul, and he was the owner of The Barn Hostel.
The Barn Hostel was located in the Town of Gorham NH, 3.6 miles away from the AT. When we got there, we could tell that is was very hiker friendly. It had a kitchen, living room, and a ping pong area. Hikers were allowed to camp in the back yard or sleep in a beds upstairs.
It may not look like much, but to a Thru Hiker, its perfect.
The ping pong table was a nice touch. At my old job, we would sometimes play ping pong after work. My coworker Steve was a ranked player and he taught us how to play “real” table tennis. There was a hiker there who seemed to be pretty good. We played quite a few very competitive matches. It was kind of funny. Here we were, sweating and exercising when we should have been resting. It was just too much fun to resist.
As time went on, the place began to fill with hikers. Two of those hikers were Hobo Joe and Kim. It was great to see them.
Another hiker, Elmer Fudd, was there as well. He was another hiker from Germany and Flashfire was thrilled to talk to someone in her native language. Although, not as thrilled as she used to be. Her English was much better than it had been when we first met. She even dreamed in English now.
Elmer Fudd was an interesting guy who had traveled a lot. He became quick friends with the Tramily.
While we were in Gorham, we visited every place to eat that was in walking distance.
Paul offered us ride to Walmart to resupply. While we were on the way, Stoat brought up the rumor that the attached bed and breakfast was haunted. (Our mom mentioned it in a previous phone call) He said only, “If you saw what I saw when I moved in here you would believe it too. I try not to advertise that.”
The other thing we learned during our travels with Paul, was that there were a ton of moose in the area. He avoided picking up hikers after nightfall. There had been too many moose related accidents to risk it.
I got the feeling that running the Hostel was a labor of love for Paul. I guess it would have to be. The amount of work that’s required to keep the place going was staggering.
After staying up much later than we should have talking to new people, we went to bed.
This was our last resupply point before crossing into Maine. It almost doesn’t feel real.