I woke up very early this morning to a very wet tent fly and moisture on the ground cloth. I grabbed my food bag from the tree and had breakfast in my tent, enjoying the can of Coke that I had saved from the trail magic, then laid back down and slept for three more hours.
Tandem woke me again at 8:30 while getting her pack out from under my unused vestibule. I packed as it started to rain again. Tandem, who didn’t want to sit around in the rain, hiked out, heading to the Mizpah Spring hut. I had my pack on by 9:15.
On the 2,800 foot climb up Mount Webster, I passed several views that couldn’t been seen because it was so cloudy and rainy. I knew that Mount Washington was out there. Eventually I caught up with Bacon Dog and slowed my pace to hike and chat with him for the last four miles to the hut.
It was pouring, but we stopped trying to avoid stepping in puddles – some of which were a foot deep and surprised us — since our feet were soaking wet anyway. We joked that the trail designers must have purposely designed the trail here on Webster to go straight up and down every rock face. It was ridiculous. We were doing 45 minute miles.
We eventually reached the Mizpah Spring hut and tried to dry out some of our wet clothing. There were a dozen NOBO hikers there; most of the eight that we knew well were sitting at the first table in the dining hall together playing Scrabble, which Whitey won that game.
Then seven of us started a game of Monopoly. That resulted in most properties being owned by a few and not equally distributed. The bank also needed to be creative with the cash distribution. I ended up with three houses in the red properties, but went bankrupt and lost in fourth place due to Tandem’s hotels on the yellow and green properties.
At 17:00, Far Go asked the hut staff how many work-for-stay thru hikers they needed. They said five, so most of us, including Tandem, Jukebox, and Bacon Dog, had to go out and set up our hammocks and tents in the rain in the nearby campground. We all went back into the hut and upstairs to the warm library while the guests ate. Tandem and I tried figuring out how to get her to her Wednesday morning appointment in Gorham, NH, which is 20 trail miles and 10 miles to hitch. We planned to either have her hike ahead tomorrow, leaving a comfortable hike down to the road on Wednesday morning, or hope for cell signal on Mount Washington in the morning to reschedule her appointment to Thursday morning.
Once the guests were done eating, the five hikers working for stay in the hut were invited to eat the leftovers in the kitchen. Tandem, Jukebox, Bacon Dog, and I were not. Jukebox and Bacon Dog went out to cook their dinner by their hammocks, but before Tandem and I left, I stuck my head into the kitchen and found that there were leftovers for us. We had small portions of chicken, green beans, rice with gravy, peas, salad, and cookies. We were still hungry for more hot food, so we both left for our campsites to make Ramen.
My tent was soaking wet, but the air mattress and sleeping bag were just damp and good for sleeping. After Ramen, I wrote this blog and went to sleep in my damp quarters.