Showers and Ice Cream in Connecticut

Day 139: 3,240 ft ascent, 16.9 miles

After all of the good luck we had been having with deli-blazing the past few weeks, I was on the lookout for any and all possibilities to keep finding delis. I had my eyes set on one after we crossed into Connecticut.

Erik’s face is how we both felt after one last stretch in New York of terrible mosquitos.

I was excited all morning about the deli. We crossed a neat covered bridge to get to the Bulls Bridge Country Store. As we walked up I knew I was about to be disappointed by the looks of the building. One step inside told me I was right.

I cruised all day and realized I probably wasn’t eating enough if the big meal in the morning gave me this much extra energy. I didn’t know what I would do to get more calories but I needed to start focusing on that moving forward.

The view upstream from an window inside the covered bridge.

The owners of the store were very friendly, but the only main course options available were frozen microwave foods and prepackaged sandwiches it looked like they purchased from another store. Erik about died when they charged him $8 for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. My love of deli-blazing was soured after this experience.

The bright spot of the day was passing the 2/3rds finished with the trail mileage! As we move further north it feels like the milestones come faster and faster. I thought back to how I felt when I hit the 1/3rd finished mark and realized how much more we have to go. I was excited and intimidated knowing we had the hardest part of the trail left to go and a shrinking time window to finish.

Day 140: IDK, 7.7 trail miles

We had plans to take a half day off in Kent to resupply. Early morning rain never really let up, so around 9am we packed up the tent and hiked in the rain a few miles into town. This was the first time we had hiked in rain since mid-Virginia.

A detour from a closed bridge on trail took us on a road walk early in the morning. We walked into town and we headed to the laundromat to set up our base camp for the day. We got our laundry going then I took off to find us some coffee and breakfast.

I brought breakfast back to the laundromat and we spread our our wet gear on the front porch to dry. Erik decided to take a shower first at the public shower in the middle of town behind the town visitor center. Soon after leaving, he was back unshowered looking for more quarters after the machine ate his $2 and didn’t provide any water.

About 15 minutes later he was back with wet hair and a story. The shower machine had eaten his money a second time, so he decided the town of Kent owed him a shower. He proudly used the water fountain spigot in the park to shower!

I still wanted to shower as well, but I wasn’t ready to give up on the shower machine. I walked over and put in my $2. Hot water appeared! (Apparently Erik doesn’t know how to put quarters in a machine.) The $2 only paid for a 4-minute shower. I had brought enough money to double my shower length, but after Erik’s bad luck with it I felt guilty going double length so I settled for my 4 minutes. We don’t know why it worked for me and not Erik, but he’s convinced there was a person watching, deciding who to allow to shower and who they wouldn’t.

Why didn’t we get all of our gear dry in town? A propane truck had a leak after delivering fuel to the laundromat. This prompted an evacuation. We watched from the post office.

After we finished the rest of our town chores, we left town ready to roll. I had picked up some new shoes from the post office and new shoe day is always fun. The road walk detour we had started before town was supposed to take us up the road up a mountain before coming back down to the river in a few miles.

We decided to take a graded gravel path down by the Housatonic River instead. It was the easiest hiking of the entire trip and we had no regrets. The AT came down off of the mountain after a couple of miles and continued along the gravel path. We ended the day all smiles and looking forward to a few more flat miles on the gravel trail the next morning.

Day 141: 3,670 ft ascent, 14.6 miles

My excitement about my new shoes the day before wore off quickly. I had switched from boots back to my favorite Hoka trail runners. I hadn’t realized how much grip the boots had comparatively. I ended up taking two falls throughout the day.

On the second fall I slipped on a rock and my knee slammed into the ground and a started sliding down off of the rock. I grabbed on to a tree to keep myself from falling off. I wasn’t on a ledge, but in the moment I didn’t know what was below me and wanted to stop sliding. I stood up and made sure my legs still worked okay. I knew I would have a huge bruise on my knee after that fall, but it was a good warning that I needed to watch my footing closely going forward when the stakes of falling would be greater.

The first time I cut my hair since we started the trail was in the tent after it got caught in my sleeping pad air pump.

Day 142: 3,540 ft ascent, 18.6 miles

Although I had soured on deli-blazing, I was not soured on finding restaurants along the trail. We got up early and went to a breakfast restaurant a short 0.2 miles off of the trail. I ordered eggs and bacon. It was so good I ordered the entire meal a second time! By the time we left I was ready to roll!

The fog in the trees had an eerie, peaceful feel.

I was feeling so good that we pushed further than we expected, a rarity for us. We were 2 miles from our proposed campsite at 5:30pm. Only the ascent and decent of Bear Mountain stood in our way. We’ll be there in an hour we thought.

Ha! We didn’t know what we were in for. The decent of Bear Mountain was a bear. Multiple times I had to stop and plan my next foothold down, and a few times Erik had to flat-out help me down. I can have a fear of heights at times, which makes downhill rock scrambles even more difficult. It took us almost 2 hours to go those last 2 miles.

We finally finished with the rock scrambles and reached the Massachusetts state line. Soon after we found our campsite for the evening. Ten states down and four to go on this adventure. I went to sleep happy with our progress and excited to start another state.

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Comments 1

  • thetentman : Sep 16th

    Nice post



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