Scraggly beards, matted and unbrushed hair, torn up shirts, trekking poles, fraying sneakers, and the faithful packs distinguish thru-hikers from your average day hiker, North Country tourist, and AMC employee. The season is here. Those North and South bound are passing through Pinkham rapid-fire. At least once a day, I see one plop down on the front porch of the Trading Post to take a load off their legs which are exceptionally well-tested by the Whites. Known as one of the most difficult states on the Trail, New Hampshire is known for it’s steep inclines and sharp descents over rocky crags and ridges. That said, people are in various moods when they get to Pinkham. One one hand, they’re only about a day’s hike from the end of the Whites and the beginning of Maine (the last state!), but they also seem exhaused from the previous days of carrying heavy packs over the jagged terrain.
I’ve really enjoyed meeting all the thru-hikers who’ve met my sister while hiking. She started the AT this past March and after hearing all her adventurous tales, it’s exciting for me to put names to faces. Or at least trail names to faces. It’s strange to think how much a trail name becomes someone’s identity. The trail really is another world, or at least a culture apart from the one most of us live in day to day.
Here’s a blog post about the Whites from my sister’s English friend and hiking buddy, Josie AKA Sweetblood. Happy to have her visit me in Storehouse last week on her way to Maine.