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Woods Hole Hostel

2011 May 16
by Elizabeth

Survivorman and I were able to stay at the wonderful Wood’s Hole Hostel for two nights on May 3rd and 4th. On Tuesday we hiked into Trent’s Grocery, which is a gas station conveniently located only 1/2 mile from the trail. Just as we ordered our pizza, it started raining—the torrential downpour type–and we started trying to figure out a way to avoid walking another two miles to the nearest campsite.  The owner of Trent’s Grocery said he’d drive us the 30 miles (it’s only 15 if you hike over the mountain) to Wood’s Hole Hostel. Once we got to the hostel, we found it was booked solid, but there was room on the porch for us. It would be cold, but at least we’d be out of the rain and it rained ALL NIGHT LONG.

Before we went to bed for the night we wanted to shower—which was an interesting experience because it’s an outdoor shower. With no roof. In the cold rain. It felt like my whole body was asleep—the cold tingly kind—as the cold rain combined with the hot water from the shower on my skin. But in the end, I was clean and that’s all that really mattered.

The next day we got a ride back to Trent’s Grocery so we didn’t miss any of the trail, and we hiked the 15 miles back to Wood’s hole for one more night. This time we were in the bunkhouse with about 13 other hikers. The hostel was booked solid again and there were at least 6 hikers sleeping on the front porch, several people in tents and almost a dozen in the house.

So far, this hostel has by far been our favorite. Wood’s Hole consists of an 1880s log cabin and bunkhouse.  The owners, Neville and Michael are striving for an entirely self-sustaining operation. They grow a lot of their own vegetables, make most of their food from scratch or buy it from the Amish, use solar power and have plans to incorporate hydroelectric power in the future.


Most hikers opt for the wonderful meals Neville and Michael prepare. While we were there we had both a breakfast and dinner. Dinner was amazing for multiple reasons: homemade pizzas in an outdoor clay oven with any homegrown topping you could imagine (including three homemade cheeses and pepperoni), and they fed 30 hikers which is like feeding 60 regular people.  The whole dinner was both amazing and scary—I’m pretty sure the section hikers had no idea what hit them when the thru hikers attacked the serving tables. It happened with such rapidity and aggression it reminded me of the velociraptors from Jurassic Park.

Pizzas coming out of the oven!

We were able to withstand the urge to stay for breakfast the next morning, and hiked out early and made it to Pearisburg in time to meet Muggle’s friend Carrie! While there we stayed in an inn for the NEXT two days. It was a pretty amazing week really. But that’s another post. Smile

One Response leave one →
  1. May 16, 2011

    Glad you got out of the rain. Love reading your posts, keep it up!

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