Twelve down and only two more to go! I was really fortunate to have perfect weather nearly every day in Vermont, and it made for some really great days of hiking. Here are some highlights from the past week or so:
Camping on Glastenbury mountain
On one of my first nights in Vermont, I decided to camp on top of Glastenbury Mountain. There was an old fire tower on top of the mountain, and the view from the top of the tower was the best I could remember since the Smokies. Looking back into Massachusetts I could see Mt. Greylock and the ridge I had just come from, and looking north I could see Stratton and the Green Mountains of Vermont awaiting me. I couldn’t help but smile as I stood up there and thought about how far I had come, and the incredible mountains that still lay ahead of me. I cooked my mac n cheese in the tower that night and enjoyed a stellar sunset. The next morning I woke up early and took my coffee up there for an equally impressive sunrise. It was an awesome night and morning, and it got me uber stoked to be in Vermont and New England.
Birthday golf in Manchester Center
I celebrated my 25th birthday last week in Manchester Center, Vermont. It wasn’t my favorite trail town, as it seemed to be mostly an outlet shopping destination, but I did manage to find an awesome motel to stay at. The Palmer House hotel gave me a hiker rate of $85 for a double room, which I split 5 ways with my friends Captain Planet, Library, Wook, and Rainbow Mama. We had way too much fun playing a round of golf on the motel’s par 3 course, then ordered pizzas and wings and watched some mindless television in the room. The next morning I picked out a new book at the Northshire Bookstore and hiked 10 miles or so up the trail. All in all it was a pretty great birthday!
Rutland, Yellow Deli, and Killington slackpack
When I passed through Rutland, VT, I got a hitch into town to pick up a couple of packages and resupply at Wal Mart. The Twelve Tribes run a Yellow Deli and Hiker Hostel there, right in downtown Rutland. I wasn’t planning to stay the night there, but when I stopped in at the Yellow Deli for a sandwich I ran into Otter and Fish N Chips, who had stayed there the past two nights. They filled me in on how they were able to leave the majority of their gear there all day and slack pack 18 miles up and over Killington by taking advantage of a local bus route. I was quickly convinced to stay the next two nights there and take advantage of a free slackpack. Bebop also ended up showing up there the next day, so it was fun to catch up with him again. Their religious beliefs and practices aside- they treated me really well, and even fed me a delicious breakfast for free. It was definitely an interesting experience staying with them, but I got a kick out of watching them all interact with each other and wondering how it all worked. I wouldn’t dare ask them about it!
It was BEAUTIFUL.
Also, Vermont was GORGEOUS. So many great views, spectacular stretches of forests, and pristine lakes and streams. After a month and a half of pushing through the somewhat lackluster Mid-Atlantic section of the trail, it was really great to be back in some tall mountains and captivating forests.
Yesterday morning I crossed the border into New Hampshire, and spent an enjoyable day in Hanover. I spent a couple of hours at the pizza shop, where the thru hiker special is a cheese slice and a 20 oz PBR for $0.80 (yes, eighty cents). I resupplied at an awesome Co-Op in town, and set up my tent just beyond the tree line, about 200 yards away from the co-op and right behind the Dartmouth softball fields. I hung out there for a little while and Otter, Fish N Chips, Wook, Scarecrow, and Muffin Man showed up and set their tents up nearby. A little later we all headed back to the co-op for dinner. I pigged out on a giant Greek salad, a sushi roll, and two more slices of pizza. After dinner we had a few cold ones on the outfield fence while watching the Dartmouth softball team practice, and then hit the hay. Tonight I’m camped about fifteen miles north of Hanover.
In just a couple more days I’ll start the White Mountains. In only 5 more weeks I’ll be standing on top of Katahdin. Where has the time gone…