Appalachian Trail -

Birthday Bustle

Today is Dion’s 29th birthday and he has chosen to go out to breakfast then hike 6 miles to Greenleaf hut and try to stay there. We have been hearing about the huts in NH, but have yet to stay at any. Yesterday the boys passed by Lonesome Lake hut, but because they were so exhausted they didn’t really check it out. I will hike up the insanity trail, 4 miles straight up, to get to the hut around 4 which is when we’ve heard you are suppose to arrive to do work for stay. I arrive at 3:30 and check in with Abby, they chef on duty that night for the hut, who assures us there is room and that we can do work for stay. Greenleaf hut is breathtakingly beautiful. This is the perfect place for Dion, who loves the mountains and the outdoors so much, to stay for his birthday. The views are incredibly, the hut is immaculate and the staff is so kind. Because it is still so early I decided to go hike south toward the boys until I run into them. Even though Greenleaf is amazing, it is a full mile off the trail which brings the boys to a total of 7 miles today which doesn’t seem like a lot but these were some tough miles! Once I finally ran into the boys it was already 7 o’clock. We hurried back to the hut to catch the sunset and head inside before it got dark. When you do work for stay you get to eat dinner, once all the guests have finished, sleep in the common room, once all the guests have gone to sleep, and have breakfast, again after all the guests have eaten. Once it was time for us to eat, we sat down at a picnic table and were asked to eat as much as we could to try to finish the left overs. Even for a thru hiker, this was no easy challenge! We were joined that night by two other thru hikers, Mongoose and Flavor Savor, who helped us go to town on a huge bowl of mashed potatoes, grilled chicken, string beans, fresh baked bread and split pea soup. The food was amazing, but far too much for us to finish no matter how hard we tried! Our work assignments were handed out after dinner, around 9pm which is considered midnight for thru hikers, Dion had to wipe down the stove and I had to clean out the fridge. Our work was incredibly easy and finished in less than 15 minutes.

We were so thankful when the lights were turned off finally at 10:30 because this meant we could go to sleep. Unfortunately there was a three year old who did not get the memo. He decided that it would be a good idea to wake up about 1am and scram till about 2:30. I was so thankful when this poor little guy stopped screaming and decided to go back to bed! We had heard about a group of thru hikers who were doing this 52 mile hut to hut challenge, which is hitting all the huts over 52 miles in 24 hours, but hadn’t met any of them before. Until 3am. They came bursting through the door, plopped their packs down and proceeded to begin having thru hiker party 2013 at 3am. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled. I got up and informed them of my displeasure in the nicest way I could muster after not getting any sleep yet and thankfully they left a few minutes later!

Loved the hut, the views and the food. Disliked having to sleep in such a public place and not getting any sleep!