Bushcamp (1830.6) to to Nauman Campsite (1850.8)
The sun normally rises around 5.30am and on this morning I’m packed up and hiking by 5am. I descended into a tangled mess of weather hardened trees and shrubs as the sun started to rise. The rain yesterday made the leaves and moss a deeper shade of green. I stumbled along drinking my cold coffee and milk from my gatorade bottle.
When the trail exited the trees I must not have been paying attention. I hiked up to the summit of a mountain. But it was the wrong summit. I failed to notice the turn off a couple of minutes earlier. No matter, I stopped and took some photos.
Around 9am I turned up at one of the full service mountain huts. I filled up my water bottle and noticed lots of left over breakfast. I asked if they were planning on throwing it away. Moments later I was eating pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs.
For the first time in a while the trail was flat and fast as I exited Zealand Hut. There was a sharp descent to highway 302. I was running a little low on food so needed a couple of items to make it to my next resupply. My guidebook mentioned a commercial campground a couple of miles away with a descent campstore and the opportunity to take a shower and wash my clothes.
I hitch hiked to the campground to find the facilities were only for guests but the store was open to anyone. I topped up on food then got a lift back to the trail.
It was warm in the afternoon as I set about climbing to the top of Mt Webster. Before setting out I scattered my wet tent and other items on a sunny section of trail to dry and air out. The nearby stream was used to wash sweat soaked clothing.
I got a glimps of the towering Mt Washington in the distance. That would be my goal the following day. It was getting late when I arrived at Nauman Campsite. It cost $10 for the privilege of setting up my tent. For that price I would receive a voucher for a soup and two baked goods at any of the paid huts in the Whites. Now that might come in handy a bit later.