8-1-12

AT miles hiked today: 9.5
Total AT miles hiked: 950.2

It turns out that Payman and TwoStep were on a tent platform next to ours, and they had saved half of their platform for us. How sweet! It turns out that Twostep fell on Moosilauke! She slipped off of one of those wooden block steps and hit her face and hip. She didn't break anything but it hurt her and shook her up and they took a zero in Lincoln to help her recover. She does not like the Whites so far.

Toe Knee and I went ahead on a mission to arrive at Zealand Falls hut as close to 4pm as possible to try to get work for stay for all three of us. Eagle Eye said she'd catch up to us, which I didn't doubt. She is fast on the rocks, like a mountain goat. Unlike me, the turtle, who has to start early and go long to make these miles in the Whites.

The huts charge over $100 a night for their guests, but they will accept two thruhikers a night for free if the hikers work for the stay and sleep on the dining room floor. If there is any extra food, the hikers can have that as well. The type of work depends on the "Croo" members of the hut. Some croo members are nice to the hikers and some take advantage of the hikers and require excessive work. The problem with the hut system is that there are no other options for hikers to stay if they don't luck into a work for stay spot. It's very difficult to work your way through the Whites if you're a thruhiker, between the huts only accepting 2-3 thruhikers and being charged for tent and shelter sites. It can be a frustrating and expensive experience though some of the shelter caregivers will also give work for stay. The huts are pretty cool, though. I like them. I just wish there were other options available to thruhikers, in addition to the huts.

Anyway, we did get there just after 4pm and lucked into all three of us being accepted for work for stay. Toe Knee did hers tonight and intends to skip breakfast so she can get out early. Eagle Eye and I have to do ours in the morning, so we'll get a late start. But at least we have a roof to sleep under, some warmish leftovers, and cold running water. I even got hot tea. Thanks! Also, the waterfalls are beautiful and I soaked my aching feet in the cold water.