Day 145: Hut to HutPublish date: Sep 17, 2019
The Appalachian Mountain Club (aka “Appalachian Money Club”) rules the woods in the Whites. They run 8 huts, scattered in beautiful locations throughout the park. The huts are essentially cabins. A guest gets a bunk with blankets, running water, a hearty dinner and breakfast, and a campy skit from the “croo” (the campy name for the workers) all for around $150 per person. It’s an excellent option for those looking for comfort in the Whites.
But obviously, thruhikers can’t go spending that kind of money. So the huts have a “work for stay” deal: if we leave the hut while the guests dine then come back in and do an hour of work, we can eat the leftovers and sleep on the dining room floor until 6AM. The work for stay slots are first come first serve, and there are 2-4 slots, depending on the hut. Honestly the croos seem to just accept as many thruhikers as they feel like that day. Sometimes you can bribe them to sleep inside or to tent nearby.
This compromise is somewhat awkward. The dynamic between the croos and us is a bit tense. We’re not paying guests, and we’re probably not going to tip them. I’m sure they’ve had bad experiences with hikers in the past. So they have the power here and they’re wary of us. But on rainy days most of us just want a roof over our heads, since there aren’t many shelters here, and it’s frustrating when there is clearly space to sleep inside.
Anyway, I’ve still been trying to stay at them as often as possible. That way I can carry less food! By some miracle I am between groups of thruhikers, so I’m able to get the slots pretty easily.