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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Gift at the End

~Monday, October 4, 2021~

Day 477

Mixing up the day with chores and a hike. It seems that the rain has stopped, though the clouds linger. So it should be good hiking weather. On our way out, we stopped at the campground kiosk where Ranger Bob was hanging out. I asked if I could please have 2 rolls of quarters when he replied, “Man, you must have a lot of laundry”. Normally, my mindset is that 2 weeks worth of laundry means about a $18 to $20 expense. So I asked, “Well, how much is a wash/dry?” $1.00/load. Wow!! What a bargain!! I think washing EVERYTHING is in order…...sheets, rugs, backpacks, you name it! This place just keeps impressing me. We’ve never seen such a dialed in campground that is this small. Firewood, showers, nice bathrooms, laundry. It’s got the amenities of a 100-site campground! Anyway, you could tell Ranger Bob enjoyed the conversation as it was not just about laundry. He went into the history of the campground and how it was established long before water, sewer and electrical hookups were the rage. There are talks though, about expanding the campground to accommodate more Class A RV’s and providing full hookups and a dump station. And evidently, the campground boasts a long-time resident…..”Justin the beaver🦫”. Justin, named after the singer, Justin BIEBER 🤣, is easy to spot in another section of the campground, and has quite an impressive dam that he’s constantly expanding on. We’ll have to check it out.

Today’s hike brought us to the southern end of Crawford Notch State Park to the Arethusa Trail. Even though this is a popular trail,

we thought for a Monday that there were quite a few people. I’d say we passed about 15 to 20 people coming down the mountain…..all saying it was worth the climb in the end. Encouraging. The hike is about 1.5 miles up with an elevation gain of 900 feet. From the beginning, it is a steep climb, with rocks and gnarly tree roots under your feet, forcing you to really concentrate.

And oh my goodness, what a beautiful “gift” at the end…...worth every bit of sweat. This was the best waterfall of the trip, likely because the height and size of it were quite unexpected. We later found out that it is regarded as the most scenic waterfall in all of New Hampshire, and we could see why. Jeff and Sadie moved further along to get a closer look, determined to give my photos some sense of scale of just how tall this waterfall was (can you spot them in the photo above?) The estimates put it between 160 to 200 feet tall. It was nice that we were able to have the area all to ourselves for about 20-25 minutes until a few more hikers showed up. On the way down, we were surprised to see quite a few people still heading to the Falls with dwindling daylight. Hope they brought headlamps. One older gentleman asked if I worked for the park service since I looked the part I suppose. I was wearing a baseball cap and green turtleneck, so I guess I can see why he thought that. Then he got a closer look at my hat which says “Ouray Colorado '' on it. I wear this hat quite often and am always prepared for people asking where in Colorado it is, and if I’m from there. I always reply with “I wish I was!” That “Little Switzerland '' is still one of our favorite towns in the U.S.

It was nice to have the hike so close to our campsite so that we could grab a quick snack before heading out to make a few phone calls. Then the evening of chores… and laundry. While Jeff made a delicious garlic pasta dinner, I did about 6 loads of laundry, 3 loads at a time. One advantage to doing laundry in the evening, you usually get all the machines to yourself. So lucky me, I was able to do 3 loads at a time (something I could never do at home).

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