On Sunday night, I volunteered as the naturalist at Galehead Hut in the White Mountains. I gave a 45 minute talk on Aware of the Bears, and I got so much more back! I took the time to connect with some great people.
Everyone at the hut comes for a different reason. I met a man who was running 60 miles that day. He came in for water, and had just 10 miles to go. He was too fast for me to get a photo of him. I met three thru-hikers heading for Mt. Katahdin in Georgia. They had 360 miles left to hike, and had come over 1740 miles so far. Puffy M from Burmingham, Misery from Buffalo and Johnny Walker from N. Carolina spent the rainy night sleeping on the floor of the Galehead Hut. On Monday, they planned to hike to the Highland Center, over 20 miles a way.
I also met Bill, a 68 year-young experienced thru-hiker from Georgia. He had hiked the full AT (Appalachian Trail) in 2006, and was not hiking his favorite parts again. When he hiked this part in 2006, the weather was bad, and he wanted to enjoy it again.
I talked with Tom, an artist who sat with his colored pencils, drawing the Garfield Ridge. He was hiking with his daughter, a college student majoring in elementary education.
Tom reminded me of the importance of writing or drawing in the Hut Book.
I helped people who were reading and studying their maps and trail guides, figuring out tomorrow's hike. The library at the hut has all of the tools to plan a successful hike. The hut croo is also very helpful in those plans. They spend so much time in the mountains, working 11 days on and 3 days off for the full summer.
Most important to any hut is the Croo. I met Toben, the hutmaster, who plays the violin each morning at 7 to wake everyone for breakfast.
The full Hut Croo includes Toben, Becca (naturalist), Abby (cook), and Kimball (assistant hut master).
The full croo worked together to prepare a dinner of
Chocolate coconut cake
Breakfast consisted of oatmeal, eggs, bacon and fresh breakfast rolls.
Yes, I am the volunteer naturalist, giving a short talk in the evening with my husband John. Our main work is done at the tables listening to people talk about their plans, concerns and their journey in life. I learn so much when I listen to those who are traveling through.
I am reminded of the African Proverb:
"If you want to travel swiftly, travel alone.
If you want to travel far, go together."
Staying in the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) Huts is the epitome of traveling together. Enjoy the journey!