July 21, 1998

7/21/98 Crawford Hostel

14.7 miles (1817.4 total)

In the morning, we ate breakfast with the crew, while waiting for our "work" assignments. We got very lucky. They had us sweep the entire hut, then carry the "shitter" barrels out to the helicopter loading area. That’s it, about 30 minutes of work instead of 2 hours. Maria was great. So we got on the trail before 9am. The sun was out as we left the hut and started our steep ascent of South Twin Mountain. Took a break on top because you could get a great view of where we’d been and where we’re going.

Mount Guyot had a ground-hugging evergreen covering the entire summit and approach. The rest of the way to Zealand Falls Hut was generally downhill. Passed loads of hut-to-hut hikers.

Zealand Falls was great. Billy Goat decided to model his manly thru-hiker body in the frigid falls, screaming the whole time. Good pictures though. Talked with Caitlan on the crew for awhile, even talked her into selling me a spinach calzone for ½ price. Decided we needed to hurry if we were going to make Crawford Notch by 6pm.

Only Billy Goat was crazy enough to take a dip in the Falls
You can almost hear his screaming over the roar of the waterfall

The trail between Zealand Falls and Ethan Pond must have been an old railroad bed because it was so straight. The only problem areas were landslides with very large boulders. By the time we reached the campsite, I was hungry and exhausted.

The last 3 miles to Crawford Notch was tough for me. Ghandi and Billy Goat passed the time with riddles, but my mind was a blank. Finally reached the bottom precisely at 6pm and Ghandi’s mother was there to meet us. Ghandi’s getting off the trail for a couple of days to register at school. Billy Goat and I decided to pay the $12 for a hostel bunk at Crawford Notch. That allowed us both to make a few phone calls.

Called Claire several times and finally got hold of her late. We talked about my trip and Kansas City stuff. Turns out her trip to New Hampshire is in August and sounds packed with wedding meet-the-family stuff. So the only one coming out to meet me now is Amy.

Two hungry hikers eating dinner

The hostel was pretty good. The kitchen and phone were available all night. Plus someone had left a ½ gallon of ice cream which Billy Goat and I gladly sampled. The only problem was we stayed up way too late. The walk from the main house to our bunk cabin at 11pm was spectacular. The stars were so bright and so many. The Milky Way was easily visible. I wish I could just lay down in the grass and look up in the sky all night.