There was a lot of dew in the morning. Which meant rain flies had to come off first to dry out a bit before we hit the trail. To make it to Woods Hole hostel we had about 21 miles. We felt ready! Though, we didn't hit the trail until 9:30 despite claiming that we would leave by 8. At the latest.
We took a tiny break. Becasue of differences in hiking speeds the group was a bit split up. We met a new fella, Dungeon Master (for being a D&D kinda guy) who was leading with Turbo. Dean left us behind when we stopped for a snack and Bambi was in the back. Everyone met up again at Dismal Falls, about 8 miles into the journey off a .3 mile side trail. We don't follow many side trails, but we do make exceptions for waterfalls. There's apparently a parking lot on the other side of the falls from where the trail reached the falls. A dozen or so people had strolled in to look at the falls after a short walk. The attire, body types, and probably smell of the two sides of the river were pretty stark. At the base of the falls, there was a tempting swimming hole but storm clouds moving in made us worried about rain, so we wrapped up lunch and headed back to the trail.
We hiked with Bambi, Turbo, and Dungeon Master for a while, through seriously annoying puddles from the previous days rains quickly rewetted our boots. We didn't stop again until a shelter. It is infamous due to some murders that had taken place there. We respectfully ate some snacks, performed some routine injury maintenance, and found Dean again to make the final climb and descent of the day. The climb went by fairly quickly and we thought we would be to the hostel in no time, however, the downhill had other plans. It was horrible boulder hopping and loose rocks which, especially at the end of the day, really kills our ankles and knees. We were pretty mile loopy at this point, but managed to stumble our way down all the same, then hike the final .5 miles to the hostel itself and arrived around 7:30.
The hostel is on a stunning property nestled in the mountains. It has a northwestern view that goes on for miles between the trees. There was a duck, several goats, dogs, and cats hanging out as well. The owners were busy hosting dinner (you can buy dinner and/or breakfast with the stay, we opted for just breakfast as we still had Mac n cheese for the night).
In the bunkhouse, there was a little side room with four bunks, on what would turn out to be not so stellar mattresses. Still, having the two of us, Dean, and Bambi in a sort of private room seemed great, so we went for it. There was a little hiker kitchen with honor system soda, juice, and snacks. The juice was apricot or strawberry nectar, which we drank several of. We also polished off the few remaining homemade cookie bars, which were bonkers good.
We took our showers, grabbed some loaner clothes, and ate pints of homemade ice cream (we opted for mango, but we heard good old vanilla was the best). Also, best news of the day, Duck Fart and Red Eye were also at the hostel. We caught up with them having missed a few days. Tyler played a game of cribbage with Dean, Duck Fart, and a new acquaintance, Fireproof, a 29 year old Mainer (from falmouth) who's also an electrical engineer. There was even a brief nerd debate.
After the cribbage game, we headed to bed on our rock hard, and too short (at least for Dean and Tyler) mattresses.