We had a leisurely morning, eating breakfast at the big table, after and indulgent morning shower. We got our packs all organized and ready to go. We settled up the bill and took our linens down to the laundry room. There was nothing left to do but leave. I didn't want to go. But the trail called.
Marni, the hostel owner, had only been operating the hostel for 3 weeks when we arrived. We had met her in Virginia at the Woods Hole Hostel months before. (another great hostel!) She liked her experience at Woods Hole so much that she started looking for her own hostel along the trail to operate. And after only three weeks, she had this place running so well, people just didn't want to leave.
"Thank you" she said when I said I didn't want to leave but had to. "Thank you for saying this place is comfortable. And thank you for knowing that its time for you to go. I've spent a good deal of the past three weeks telling people that they needed to get back on the trail. Thanks for not making me tell you."
So we ended up walking out from White Mountain Hostel at about 10:30 am. Late start, but good start.
Here's the thing about slack packing for days on end: when you put the full pack back on, it weighs a TON! We walked down a residential road, past a hydro-electric dam, and then started on a big climb. The temperature started to rise along with the terrain and before long, we were stopping for a water break or two. The terrain continued with more ups and downs, but nothing too steep or treacherous. It seems we had really left the Whites behind!
We spent the night at Gentian Pond Shelter with Carbon, Lentil, and So-Way, whom we had just met that day. It was a great little shelter with a small pond at the bottom of the hill, and we went for a nice refreshing swim before it got dark.
Hard to leave the hostel, but nice way to do it!