Our sleep in the woods outside of town was quite good. I was nervous about it when I heard the town clock gong 8 times the night before, but I didn’t hear the bell again until 7am, so at least they were considerate of the outdoor dwellers.
I packed up and walked to my massage appointment, about a mile south of the co-op. Wendy the masseuse (Hanover Massage) was wonderful, and when I learned she was actually on vacation but wanted to make sure I got my gift certificate massage, that made it all the more special. We chatted about my arm issue as she worked on that area and on the knots in my back. She thinks my aches aren’t a pinched nerve, but tendon problems. (I had started to worry about a torn rotator cuff, but she was fairly certain that wasn’t it.) Rest was her suggestion; I had already been hiking without my left hiking pole, decided to continue to do so in hopes of relief. Wendy even drove me back to the co-op and saved me another mile of walking. Thanks so much Wendy and Cindy for getting me the perfect gift!
When I got back, NEMO slid me some arnica massage oil for my arm and I talked to Kirk again who had some advice too. I do have to say I think all of it is helping, throughout the day I did feel better. 🥰
We did our resupply, packed up, bought a few more things, and were walking out of town by noon. The first few miles were road, and we walked over the bridge separating New Hampshire and Vermont.
Then we walked through the little town of Norwich…a fair was in full swing, but all the rides looked like they would make me vomit and we already had too much in our packs (again! The post office closed right before I got there, so I will now be hiking with my Dartmouth t-shirt) so we continued on and up a steep little road to the trailhead.
Water would be scarce in this section again, so we filled up at the next creek and met a nobo and his dog who seemed very happy and told us about some trail magic ahead. After he walked on I looked at NEMO and said, “I think he was drunk.” His stumble gave him away. That must be some trail magic! More nobos passed us with glowing reports of the magic, so when we finally found Laurie and her dog Harry we were anticipating a good spread, but what we found blew us away.
This was Laurie’s first time doing trail magic and she researched what hikers would like, then she picked a beautiful spot in the woods (she had to carry everything in) that had a view of the last three big mountains we climbed: Moosilauke, Smarts, and Cube. Then she sourced everything locally (we are in Vermot after all) and wrote up a menu of all she was offering. A menu!!!
She welcomed us and gave us each a tupperware with watermelon salad (watermelon, feta, and basil….amazing). We sat on a bench admiring the view, and she brought us a cracker with some kind of delicious soft cheese and blueberry preserves. Then she brought us three different sausages to try and gave each of us a very tasty (and stong) local IPA to drink (apparently the hiker we saw drank three of these strong beers!)
But best of all we the conversation. We sat with her pup Harry for a good long while having the best time. It was such a wonderful experience, and we encouraged Laurie to continue her good deeds in the future. Best trail magic ever! She even gave me a ripe peach for the road. Yum!
We didn’t have long to go to reach our destination, the Happy Hill shelter. We walked down the side trail and found a very cute stone building and decided to sleep in the shelter for once…we seemed to be the only ones stopping. One nobo did pass through and we had a great time chatting with Mango (we were helped along in our chattyness by the IPAs). We tried to eat a bunch of our food (again a heavy food carry…we like to eat), and I closed my eyes before dark.
What a great day!