Irma Affects Home, Crossing Into New Hampshire, Mile 1800
Pictured: Killington’s Thundering Falls
Trail Magic x 10
I’ve crossed into New Hampshire but not before seeing some of the most abundant trail magic sections ever. As #LASTOFTHENOBOS, I figured everyone would have packed up and headed home. Two road crossings about twelve miles apart presented a perfectly-spaced day for hanging at Daniel’s hiker barn and the “Blue Barn” in West Hartford curated by Linda and Randy. Even when 2011 Hurricane Irene damage left their house on the mend and with hosting Georgia family dodging Irma’s destructive path, they still offered hikers cups of coffee, fresh fruit and breakfast pastries.
I’m very thankful for letting me use their wifi to keep in touch with my family in Florida.
(Everyone is safe and alive with just power outages and no major damage.)
I also had the opportunity to meet the Omelette Man and his Omelette dog. The Omelette Man prepares food for thru-hikers right off the trail. This was also my introduction to The Whites and Moosilauke.
After a climb up and over Moosilauke with the help of Hikers Welcome and Chet, the Lincoln Trail Angel, I pushed on into the series of 4,000 foot peaks that so many fear.
NOBOs and Tough Times Making (S)miles
Northbound bubbles have been springing up everywhere as town hubs and shelters are continuing to fill with more than the weekend section hiker. SOBO’s are enjoying some good tips and trail talk as they pass by. I’ve met so many cool people offering infinite resources. As I continue north, my week of rest had given me a decidedly strong advantage to some of the drained north-bounders. I’ve passed several remarking that the six-days of rains had deterred their hiking plans and left them in a mental rut. This means they are content to sit in their tent midday and watch old seasons of downloaded television series on their mobile phones.
Dartmouth and the “Damascus of the North”
Pictured: Rauner Library and Dartmouth Outing Club
As I headed into Norwich, I immediately saw some trail coolers with cookies and sodas from Short ‘N Sweet(?) and Greybeard. Attached to the cooler was a Hanover Chamber of Commerce pamphlet with pages and pages of information on hiker lodging options, transportation (shuttles from Hanover to West Lebanon and Walmart are free), Dartmouth Outing Club and information kiosks. The list of trail angels were also extensive, and I had no trouble with hailing a hitch. Local businesses offered free services and food like pizza slices from Ramunto’s Pizza and Brew and donuts from Lou’s Bakery.
I’m here in Lincoln recovering from a spill. The White Mountains are a mile away. A warm shower was a welcome reprieve. After all of the rains, I’m surprised more noses aren’t skyward as I walked past.
Did I mention there is a Starbucks on the trail?
Meeting Trail Celebrities and Real-World Celebrities
I was able to see Odie and Leave No Tracy while recovering at Chet’s Place. They were heading south to Connecticut and New Jersey to visit the printing center for the Appalachian Trail’s Hiker Yearbook.
Also at the hostel was hiking documentarian Lion King, the producer of two videos (Walking With Freedom and Walking West With Freedom) involving through hikes on the AT and PCT.
Lion King is also known lately in social media for his skunk attack video on the Appalachian Trail in March. The medical costs for his rabies testing led to a GoFundMe and drew criticism across the hiking community for his odd encounter. Lion King offered a shuttle service in Lincoln and was a cordial and friendly character. We talked ankle injuries, his love of new and obscure trails as well as his brainstorming of future projects.
I’ve attached a link to the YouTube video of his skunk encounter.
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