So let’s see what’s happened since Dalton. And yes, I am a little bit behind on my blog in relation to where I am in real time. But we’ll all have to deal with that!
So getting back on the trail from Dalton was a little tough after a five day break. It’s always tough getting back on the trail after any break. You do think about home quite a lot though. And it also didn’t help that I had a couple of fantasy football draft the week I got back on the trail! That led to me taking one of my favorite zeros of the trail so far in Rutland. I hitched a ride into Rutland with a very nice older couple in a matter of only minutes. They took me right into downtown Rutland to the Yellow Deli. This hostel is one of the coolest ones I’ve been to on the trail. It’s owned by a Jewish group who run hostels all over the world. They were super nice, the place was super clean, and they have some great food. Unfortunately I got there just a little bit too late for their Sabbath dinner celebration that they invite all the hikers to every Saturday night. One of my buddies, Munchies, went the night before and said it was quite an experience. So I missed out on that, but oh well. The atmosphere and the place itself was enough to make up for that missed opportunity. The next day, I got a hotel room which I converted into my fantasy football draft war room. Needless to say, I have had a tough time following any football news, so I got some good help from Matt during the draft. So far I’m 2-0, so it looks like it’s turning out well! I beat the Show Ponies this week – stooges. Long live Ned the Misunderstood Vampire!
Then came one of the more frustrating experiences of the trip so far – my attempted hitch out of Rutland. A few things converged to result in my walking the 7.5 miles down the road to the trail. The first was that it was Labor Day (bad day to hitch!), the second was that the Vermont State Fair was in town (a lot of people on the road were likely non-Rutlanders), and I had to take two separate roads to the trail (normally it’s a straight shot down one road). And so I burned the whole morning walking out to the trailhead. It was not a fun morning! In hindsight, I wish I had hopped on that train that was rolling through town. I think it went literally right next to the trailhead. I probably would have been there in fifteen minutes had I done that. Missed opportunities galore in Rutland!
A couple of nights later, I had a fantasy football draft for my Son of SYN league. Paul helped me out on this one. Luckily, I had a little bit of service, so we were shooting texts back and forth. I also had a pretty awesome perch from which to draft my team. Check it out:
They call it The Lookout. It’s a private cabin that the owners allow hikers to use. There’s not much in it, but the view from the top is awesome, even if it is a little scary climbing those steps. It was probably the coolest place I’ve ever drafted a fantasy team from before. J
I got a dropbox at the Long Trail Inn – a super cool lodge with a legit pub. Here’s the pictures Paul sent me with it:
Overall, Vermont was a pretty cool state – although there were a lot of very muddy sections which was weird. But one of my favorite places in Vermont was Bill Ackerley’s house. This guy Bill is just an old man who lets hikers come hang out at his place, eat some ice cream, talk, get water, whatever. He’s got croquet set up in the backyard as well (me and him tied – some more hikers came up and a dog stole all the balls away). At first I was a little hesitant to stop there. Some of these guys on the trail who do similar stuff are sometimes sketchy. But Bill was a great guy. He opens up his home just because he likes to meet new people and talk about anything. I planned on staying there only a few minutes, but I got sucked in for about three hours! There were some trail magic beers there, and a whole crew of about 15 hikers showed up. So it was a nice little party for a few hours. Here’s me and Bill:
And one of the coolest things about the time at Bill’s was that we got to celebrate the engagement of two of my friends out here, Cannonball and Lady. They got engaged up on the mountain only about two miles before Bill’s house. And I was the first one to come across them after their engagement! I walked up to them, and I could tell something was a little strange. Lady was very giddy, and they weren’t talking much. So I never took my pack off, I felt like I was interrupting something – it was quite strange. So after about a minute of my awkwardness, they finally broke the news to me that they were engaged. I was much relieved, and of course happy for them. It was a neat experience. Then down at Bill’s house, we ate some coffee cake in celebration, and I got to take tons of pictures with Cannonball’s awesome camera. So I must say, I played a pretty big part in their engagement day!
And then it was into Hanover, and the start of New Hampshire. I was very glad to be out of Vermont quite honestly. It was a decent state, but by no means my favorite.
In Hanover I also had to make the decision to miss Bahm’s wedding back home. I agonized over that decision for quite a while before coming to the conclusion that I was cutting it too close. I wish I could have made it. I’ll have to make it up to him and Doreen upon my return! J
So that was Vermont. I met some strange characters during that stretch as well. Most good, some quite strange. After entering New Hampshire, I had about a day before I summited Mount Moosilake and began my battle through the Whites. Oh, the Whites! That will be the next entry – stay tuned!
Here’s some extra photos too:
Me reaching the 500 mile to Katahdin mark:
A really cool stone garden. Hikers take a stone and stack it – it was amazing looking:
Me after one of my most dangerous spills so far. It was a rainy terrible day and I slid off that middle rock in a stream. It was a low point to a rough day (no blood was coming out of the wound yet) 🙂 :