AT 2022 – Day 44: 17.1 miles (490.9 total miles)

Your mission should you choose to accept it: savor the day.

Today was NEMO’s last full day of hiking with me, and we decided to take the path least traveled (well, not really…) and have fun with the day and do what we want. Oh sure, we would still hike our miles, but with a different attitude.

Tomorrow we would reach Gifford State Park where we would find Carrie along with #2 Pencil, another hiker friend of theirs, and Rewind, a hiker that is off trail, lives nearby, and would be slack packing #2 and the other hiker for a few days. This is where our paths cross as nobos and sobos. Carrie has been off trail for about a week, and wanted stick around until we were all nearby so we could hang out. NEMO would meet the crew before she gets picked up for home the next day, and I had arranged for Mountain Spice, a hiker I met on the CDT (and hiked through the Bob Marshall Wilderness and part of Glacier with) lives nearby and will stop in and say hello as well. It would be a party! But the event heavy on our minds for the state park? A shower. A long hot shower, and doing laundry somewhere near by. Visions of soap a shampoo danced through our heads. We hadn’t truly bathed or washed our clothes in 10 days, and we are rank. It wasn’t for lack of trying! Weekends, full hotels, closed hotels (no staff) and lack of hotels thwarted our attempts at cleaning ourselves, but the run of rank would soon be over…word on the street is a laundromat/pub combo awaits us ahead.

The first decision on “savor the day” was a trip to Teagos, a store/deli a mile off the trail that is rumored to have breakfast sandwiches. We arrived at a paved road soon after leaving camp and walking through a thick patch of poison ivy (doh!) The walk was pleasant and we passed a small ski hill that was very charming. Town was a well-manicured historical place with the community theater advertising a rendition of “Nunsense” on stage this fall. Whoa Vermont, you are coming on strong! The store was about as picturesque as you could get, with regulars chatting over coffee, a well-provisioned deli, all sorts of fun snacks and treats, and a fully stocked beer fridge. We both ordered a breakfast sandwich and grabbed a beer from the case (the beer that Laurie gave us the other day…very tasty!). We ate our sandwiches on the porch after trying to wash off the poison ivy oils from our legs in the bathroom 🤞

Then we started to walk the mile back, but stuck out our thumbs just as a pickup turned onto our road. Success! We hopped in the back (a second pick-up hitch??? So lucky!) and we were back on trail lickity-split.

We had some climbing and descending…nothing too extreme. We laughed and reminisced about our years of hiking together, it was a good day.

I needed water around lunch time so we hiked a quarter mile into a shelter and took over the shelter with our shenanigans. We cracked our beers and ate our sandwiches, playing some of our favorite songs for each other.

We weren’t too tipsy for the afternoon hike, and managed to make some respectable miles before finding a camp spot near the next creek, although I did cut my foot open while hiking in my chacos, and really started to fatigue with the incessant roots – some hikers call Vermont Vermud, but with this drought I’d call it Verroot.

We splashed off in the cold creek and had a lovely evening with the serenade of rushing water in the background.

Tired nobos are sleeping everywhere down here.

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