Today started out sunny and warm and I had pretty easy trail for the first half of my hike. I got into Pinkham Notch in time for lunch at the visitor center – a giant cheeseburger, a bowl of cream of mushroom soup, and a large bag of Sour Patch Kids. Yum.
After lunch I headed up the very steep incline of Wildcat Mountain and went over peaks E, D, C, and A. I resisted taking the gondola down to a restaurant from D since I’d just eaten real food. The sky was still clear there but by the time I got to peak C, it was completely gray and smelled like rain. I tried to speed up in hopes of making it to the Carter Notch Hut before the rain started and I was successful.
There were already four thru hikers doing work for stay at the hut when normally they only take two. But then they took me and one more hiker who came in just after me too. We got to have one of the bunkrooms to sleep in instead of the dining room floor. And we got to sit down with the guests and eat almost at the same time, just slightly delayed. Dinner was vegetable soup, focaccia bread, turkey, and mashed potatoes. They fed the hikers pasta with pesto sauce too to help fill us up but there was plenty of everything. They even made some gluten free pasta for one of the hikers. Best hut/croo ever!
After dinner we all did dishes and cleaned up and were in the bunk room just after 8:00. 10.9 miles for me today.