Day 117 – What A Day

I had another phenomenal night of sleep. Waking up again from slumber at 6:30 feeling rested. I was up and packing and eating by 7:00, and on the trail by 7:30. I packed away a dry tent for the first time in nearly a week (small victories). Motivations were strong and my body felt good. A 20-mile day would put me into Salisbury, CT. A town with a few hostels and a grocery resupply (not that I needed much).

The first 12 miles of the day were consistent ups and downs. Nothing terrible, mildly challenging, more fun than anything else. The bugs remained at bay and my energy levels were high. Babying my achilles the day prior seems to have paid off because I didn’t have much pain today.

So far I’ve been very impressed with the scenery in Connecticut and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite states. It’s just been a really fun state to hike in. There was a sign about having another stream to ford today. The high waters made the stepping stones across impassable (challenge accepted). All but one stone had a dry place to step. The stone that was wet had perhaps an inch of water flowing over it. I didn’t get my entire foot wet but I also did not escape unscathed either.

From a viewpoint I saw a racetrack down below in the valley. Let me give you a view into my train of thought (flight of ideas) that ensued after. Racetrack > sports. Hey, ESPN is headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut. Am I near Bristol? (I have no idea). Hey, there’s a town coming up where I’m going to eat at. Maybe it’s a place ESPN anchors frequent and I’ll see one there (I’m just assuming it’s true at this point).  Maybe Scott Van Pelt (ESPN anchor) will be there. I should get a picture with him. It goes on, but you get the idea (I’m weird).

Turns out, I was nowhere near Bristol. I did, however, stop for lunch, but it was in the township of Falls Village (no ESPN anchors were seen). I had an excellent chorizo scramble from the Mountainside Cafe. After lunch, I enjoyed a long walk near town and adjacent to the Housatonic River.

I took a small break near the waterfalls just past the reservoir. I considered taking a dip, but I would be taking a shower at the hostel for the night (much needed). Also, with seven miles left to go, I did not want to arrive too late at my host’s house for the night.

It was another really enjoyable seven miles. The grade was not too challenging, and the pine forest I walked through was very picturesque. I also saw some great boulders. I’d walk by them and say to myself, in my best Donkey voice, “I like that boulder, that is a nice boulder!” (Did I mention I’m easily amused?)

I got into Salisbury shortly after 7:00 p.m. Strolling in at the local grocery, I picked up a few items, no cart mind you. I thought to myself, “I’ll only need a few things.” Two kiwis, two apricots, an apple, a steak, pink lemonade mix, protein oatmeal (Prot-Meal), Tylenol, Ibuprofen, a two-liter ginger ale, protein bars, gummy snacks, and a kefir yogurt drink later, I was ready for checkout. Arms full, I plopped all the items on the belt and paid for my merch (I was lucky there was no line).

The hostel was just across the street. After and shower and laundry I felt anew. The hosts let me cook my Salisbury steak on their stove. It felt great having a steak in the city that invented it (I made that up). I ate half and will pack out the other half for tomorrow.

I got to pet all of the dogs here; however, they were not as agreeable as Stanley to having selfies taken with me. The bunkhouse was all to myself, I lounged until sleep came after 11:00. Tomorrow I climb the tallest peak in CT. Bear Mountain stands a whopping 2,316 feet. I can already feel my comeuppance coming around the corner in the Whites of New Hampshire. But that’s for another day.

Until then, stow away in my pack for day 118 of the Appalachian Trail.

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Comments 3

  • thetentman : Aug 11th

    Great pics.

  • CB : Aug 11th

    Outstanding post. When are Rabbit and Chiquita rejoining?

  • Chris : Aug 12th

    “I’ve been very impressed with the scenery in Connecticut and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite states.”

    Having grown up in CT, it made me feel good to read that. CT gets a bad rep for some of the towns closer to NYC, but the further away from there the nicer the state gets.


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