Perfect Strangers

White House Landing Camps (photo by Stephanie Cohn)

White House Landing Camps (photo by Stephanie Cohn)

Can fleeting interactions with visitors be enough of a social life?


The 100-Mile Wilderness is a notoriously tough stretch of the Appalachian Trail. It’s deep in the north woods of Maine and is one of the longest distances thru-hikers have to navigate without getting to a town.

In the middle of this wilderness are Bill and Linda Ware. They run a sporting camp called White House Landing, where tired hikers can get a hot meal and a shower, and spend the night in a real bed.

It’s obvious why hikers appreciate their hospitality. But what’s in it for Bill and Linda? Why would you choose to live like that — off in the wilderness, totally removed from friends and family? How do you keep from getting lonely, when your only human interactions are with hikers who stay a night or two at most?

On this episode, producer Stephanie Cohn takes us to White House Landing and explores the surprising social magic that can happen when strangers meet in the woods.

I had rose-colored glasses the size of my head! But I was up for the challenge, and here we are 26 years later.
— Bill Ware

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