Day 132 – Good Will Hiking
The day started earlier than usual. I was up by 6:00 and hiking shortly after. There were plans afoot. Eighteen miles stood between me and Hanover, NH. I wanted to get in early enough to give myself time to explore.
The early rise facilitated decent miles. I met and leap-frogged all day with Lucky and Dreamsicle. I’ve been seeing those names in the logbooks for months now and this was our first meeting.
I pressed a brisk pace much of the day. My knee was less sore; however, my feet took the brunt of today’s action. My arches and forefoot voiced their objection to the steep uphills. I tasted all the fruits Mother Nature offered today. The bounty included countless blackberries and a few crab apples.
Halfway through the day, I entered the town of West Hartford, VT. I took a break for swim in the White River that flows through town while my devices charged. The water was extra cold, as a tributary flowed right into where I was swimming. Feeling refreshed (and relatively clean), I got on with the rest of my hike.
The second half of the day started with a fairly consistent incline. The 1,000-foot climb over four miles was manageable but very steep over short stretches. The forests and landscapes of northern Vermont have been really enjoyable. It’s been one of my favorite states on the AT, top five for sure.
It feels like we’re starting to walk into fall. The leaves are starting to fall and turn. I’m looking forward to seeing the progression over the next month.
It was a steady downhill and a few miles of road walking into the town of Hanover, NH. The end is starting feel real as I cross into the second to last state. Hanover is where the college of Dartmouth is located and is a cute little town. As I crossed the bridge into town, a crew team boat passed by and brought back memories of my own rowing career in college.
I met Hot Feet, Sultry, Neo, and Corndog at a local bar for $3 margaritas. The deal could not be beat. We had at least four each.
We later moved on to locations that cater to hikers. A pizza place that gives hikers one free slice. Tomorrow we will hit up a donut place that gives hikers free donuts. I’m a sucker for trivia and I saw a local bar has Thursday night trivia. I had been daydreaming of this potential plan all day and was brainstorming trivia team names while hiking.
We settled on “Good Will Hiking.” How did we do? Well, considering the Ivy League competition, I think we held our own. We finished middle of the pack. Not having a music specialist on our team was our downfall. After trivia, we headed back to the pizza joint, Ramunto’s, for their evening special; two slices for $2.75. I had lost my beanie at some point in the night and a Ramuntos employee found me one in the lost and found.
Everyone said I looked like (and started calling me) “Yukon Cornelius” from the animated Rudolph movie. It’s a name, had I started with a beard on trail, I would have loved to represent.
Hot Feet and I walked back to our tents near the trailhead in a light drizzle and crashed for the night. We were happy to have set up our tents earlier in the day when it was dry. Everyone else had to set theirs up in the rain. Tomorrow I need a small resupply. I have plans to hit up the local co-op. I also need some cold weather leggings and gloves as we head to higher elevations and cold temperatures. A nero or zero could be in the cards.
Until then, stow away in my pack for day 133 on the Appalachian Trail
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