So NEMO lives close enough that she will pick me up in a few days for a night at her farm before I fly out. When we were talking about how far I’d get she tossed out some lofty numbers…and I just don’t want to do 20+ mile days at this point. I think I could, but I don’t feel like it, so I will stop once I reach the first town in Massachusetts. That sounds like four medium sized days. Perfect for this middle-aged woman (but to be honest…I don’t really feel middle-aged. Is it the hiking? 🤔)
When I woke in the king sized bed (🙌), I did morning things and hit the hot continental breakfast hard. I was outta there around 10ish, and I walked the mile or so to the post office so send some things away. Third pair of socks? Who needs you anyway!
I made one last stop at Zoey’s Deli on my way out of town and couldn’t resist the cookie as big as my head. Then I had barely pulled out my tyvek to hold up the “To Trail” part when a woman pulled over and offered me a ride. Vermonters like the hikers!
The walking was very nice today…smooth and fewer things to trip on than normal. I met a fellow sandal wearer and we chatted toes and twisted ankles for a minute and I had to switch to my chacos after that of course.
The vibe for the day was Beyoncé.
One of the highlights was a mile gravel road walk (I LOVE a gravel road walk) and the gate. The gate was very popular on FarOut.
It was well into the afternoon when I was suddenly struck: today was August 22, my AT-aversary! Average Joe and I climbed Katadhin 20 years ago today. Today of all days was one to commemorate, and I usually do that by having a little treat 😁.
I walked the rest of the afternoon in a happy meandering. When it started to rain I stepped into my rainskirt and popped up my umbrella…it was the perfect trail for an umbrella, and the rain fell hard enough that I felt 100% that it had been worth carrying it for all this time just for today.
I arrived at the Stratton Pond Shelter and met Nigel hiking out. He had on Long Trail garb, and I had been expecting to connect with the caretaker at this popular spot; I had an inside connection! Here is another tale of the trail community providing: Green Mountain Girl had hiked some of the Oregon Desert Trail a few years ago, and we communicated a lot before, during, and after her trip. She has been so rad, and even sent me a gallon of Vermont maple syrup when she returned home from Oregon as a thank you (So nice!). When she heard that I’d be hiking some of the AT she mentioned she wanted to trail angel me (she works for the Long Trail as well 👍). She arranged for the caretaker here at Stratton Pond to hike in some beer for me…and after talking to Nigel and finding out he wasn’t my awaited contact and than in fact it was the caretakers’s day off, I had my instructions to look on their tent platform and I’d find a beer there with my name on it. Literally!
Haa, so nice!! My little treat! Happy trailaversary to me and Average Joe!
I magic’d two of the three beers to a couple of Long Trail hikers, and come to find out Cowabunga has also completed his nobo AT thru 10 years ago this week. Cheers to us!