Something that I did not mention in the last post was an offer that was made to me after only a short time here at Woods Hole Hostel. Neville, who runs the place alongside her husband Michael, must have felt how much the place stuck a chord with my own heart because only a few hours into my stay she asked me if I would like to stick around for a few weeks and do a work for stay, helping around the house and hostel. I told her I was very interested and that I would think about it but I know immediately that I would always regret it if I didn't take up this opportunity. This farm is a dream world of mine. I have spent years of my like roaming around the abandoned brothers and sisters of these buildings, photographing them and wondering what life was like inside their walls. A chance to live that life as intermingled with hiker life as absolutely possible was more than I could have ever fathomed existed, much less did I ever think I would be able to partake so intimately in it.
Of course this means that the crew is no more. We have dismantled in the most organic way. We all stayed at Woods Hole but Maineiac, being wildly fast, was a day ahead, so we four caught him as we came in. Genie and Duffle Miner were getting off the trail for a wedding in only two days from the night we spent at the hostel. Movie Star hiked out with them but he too was soon on his own when they got off. As for me, I don't know how long I will stay, three or four weeks I figure, but I will be hiking lesser miles than the often 20 miles I did with the guys. Though I love them dearly, it wore me out too much and my body and mind were showing it. I hope to find some other cool people when I do get back on the trail, which I imagine won't be too hard as the AT is full of great people.
Until then, I am enjoying seeing a lot of hikers I've met and passed, as well as meeting a lot of new faces. My chores on the farm mostly involve helping Neville with the hostel and those who are staying in the private rooms in the house; a little cleaning, a little laundry and a lot of cooking from scratch in an old timey kitchen for the hiker breakfast and dinner. Every now and then some shaggy highland cattle escape and come trudging the yard and I help herd them home, or Steven, the official intern, wants so company feeding the goats. And always, the chickens and guineas are gawking around making too much noise. It's farm life, for sure.
1. The farm house and one of the gardens in front.
2. Tulips. I just like them.
3. When the highland cattle escaped from their fence and came all the way up the dirt road, down the driveway and around the house.
4. The pigs.
5. The hiker bunkhouse.