Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Into the AMC Highland Center for Resupply

We woke up to rain, and stayed in the tents for a couple of hours, waiting for it to stop.  As soon as it did, we packed up and began hiking.  We only had 8 miles to go to reach Crawford Notch, where we were going to hitch 3 miles down the road to the AMC Highland Center, a lodge, and pick up our resupply, take showers, and get back on the trail, hiking on to  a place called Webster Cliffs, where we were told there was a really great campsite with a beautiful view from the cliffs.
About 20 minutes after we began hiking, it started raining, and we walked for about 20 minutes in the rain - nothing too hard though.  We hiked along a really great, level, easy trail for the first 3 miles, with a nice view of a valley to the east.  After that, the trail turned away from a stream that it had been following, and headed through low, boggy areas, with lots of board walks.  I looked for moose, but never saw any.  I was also hiking really fast, because I knew the AMC had HOT LUNCH! 
Before long, I reached the road that ran through the notch, and sat to take off my boots, along with F100 and Swamprat.  F100 went on down the hill, out of the woods, and into the parking lot, and soon we were applause.  Curious, we followed after him, and soon found ourselves in the middle of a group of tourists from Taiwan, who were applauding us also.  They were familiar with the AT and thru-hikers, and just though we were awesome!  It was really sweet.  They had lots of questions, and wanted to take pictures with us.  Everytime a person took a picture, they all did thumbs up and said something in their language, which meant, very good!
We told them goodbye, and wished them a safe trip.  They were on a 39-day whirlwind tour of Canda and the northeastern states.  We walked on down to the road, and right away, an older man picked us up and soon deposited us at the AMC Highland Center.  We picked up our resupply package, had an awesome lunch (Gluten-free wraps!!!  Could NOT believe it!), and then took showers.  The showers were coin-operated, 3 minutes for $3.  What a joke.  Who can shower in three minutes?  Well, I'm happy to report that I showered in one minute, and then stood in the hot water for two minutes, just standing there, feeling how good it felt.  Of course, there was no hair washing or anything like that!
I heard Keith yell loudly for Swamprat, in the Men's bathroom, and later learned that he had run out o water, because some of his quarters did not drop when he put the money in.  Swamprat had to come to the rescue with more quarters as he stood there covered in soap.
We then, squeaky clean, got a ride with two young men who were headed in that direction.  One was  prompter in the opera house in Munich.  I had never heard of a prompter, so it was interesting to learn about what he did.  He had gone to Dartmouth, studying conducting.  We headed back to the trail, and make record time climbing up the steepest, rockiest trail to Webster Cliffs.  I have no idea how we made it so quickly, but I attribute it to good food and being so clean!  Once at the top, we had the most beautiful views, and sat and cooked our supper on the cliffs (they were very wide), and had a great evening, taking in the views.  There was a really cute chipmunk there also, that kept coming over and sneaking food (that we had intentionally left for him).

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