Who Ordered 90° in Vermont?
Day 159: 3,950 ft ascent, 14.0 miles
I was a big fan of breakfast before I started the trail, but I think my breakfast love has doubled since I’ve been hiking. Breakfast was included with the room at the Long Trail Inn. The breakfast was so good I ordered and paid for a second plate after I finished my first! I did not regret the decision. I am struggling to find foods I want to eat at this point on trail and I need all the calories I can get.
At one point we came to a spot on the trail where there was a ladder down a rock face. As I turned around and climbed down I couldn’t help but wonder how I would’ve gotten my dog down if he had made it that far on the trail with us. I was happy he was safe and getting spoiled by my mom. I am glad Jake was able to hike a quarter of the trail with us, but I am also glad I was able to send him home when I did.
Day 160: 3,940 ft ascent, 16.4 miles
One of the things I like to do in the mornings before we leave camp is to look at my trail guide and see what waypoints we will cross for the day. I saw some comments at one of the road crossings that detailed a two-mile road walk that would take us by a general store that sold sandwiches. I knew we had plenty of food and we had just left town so I didn’t mention it to Erik.
As we started hiking it started getting hot. In the 90°’s hot. I was not mentally ready for heat again and I was grumpy about it all morning. As we approached the road crossing I started thinking about that general store again. I mentioned it to Erik and we soon were headed down the road.
The Teago General Store was exactly what we needed. Air conditioning, wall outlets for charging, and plenty of food options to appease our hiker hunger. We hung out for about an hour before heading back to the trail. Erik and I both went through multiple bottles of seltzer water while we were there, which we really needed on the hot day. It was a nice road walk detour and what we needed to get our motivation back to finish out the day strong.
Near evening we crossed a dirt road and passed a couple camping with their dog. They informed us that hunting season had started in Vermont. I was suddenly very happy that I wore orange pants and we were going to be out of the state very soon.
Day 161: 2,750 ft ascent, 15.6 miles
It was town day, which meant our packs were light and we had a hot restaurant meal as motivation to move. We left camp early and made our way towards Hanover, New Hampshire. This town day also meant we would cross into New Hampshire!
Our plan was to get to town, get food, resupply, and then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at the stealth campsite just on the other side of town behind some baseball fields. We thought we had a solid plan. The plan became even better when we realized we had a three-mile road walk downhill into town that both Erik and I had missed in our guides. Talk about some fast walking!
We got into Hanover proper just after the lunch crowd. A local on the trail had given us a few recommendations, and we ended up at one of them. My best description for it would be your typical college town pub/sit down restaurant. We tried to abate our hiker hunger and then made our way to the grocery store.
The grocery store was not far from where we had planned to camp, so we decided to go set up camp and then go back to the store. As we made our way beside a soccer field towards the opening in the woods for the trail we started to hear music. When we got to the woods we were shocked to find about 20 hikers all sitting around hanging out! One had a ukulele and was singing, while many others were passing around a couple of joints.
This was not our crowd. We didn’t want to be anywhere near this crowd. We hiked past them and went out of sight of the group up the trail. We found a flat spot and made our first true stealth spot on the trail. Most of our ‘stealth’ sites are already established sites that aren’t by shelters or listed in guides. This was a true stealth site where we made a flat piece of forest floor our home for the night.
We set up then made our way back to the grocery store as planned. As usual, we bought way too many ‘snacks’ for that day along with our food for the next three days. Most of the resupply staples I was used to buying weren’t available at this store, so I got creative with some new snacks like healthy rice crispy treats. We made our way back to our stealth site ready to take on New Hampshire.
Author’s Note: This post describes my time on the trail in early September. I had gotten behind writing while pushing towards Katahdin. Now that I’ve finished, I’ll be catching up on the last few miles of my thru hike.
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