Dalton, Mass and the Unexpected Zero

Post-dated Mon 7/25/16

Well, that was a bloody brilliant way to spend the last hour. If I’ve said it a hundred times I’ll say it a hundred more, I love the people I meet out here.

I’m sitting in this pub, Paddy’s, waiting on friends, when this delightful English gent wanders in and proceeds to fill an hour of my time with some of the best conversation I’ve had this side of eternity. We talked beer (proper Irish Guinness v. the same-branded American Slop, specifically), books, the BBC and all its glories, radio programs such as A Prarie Home Companion and This American Life and all manner of other topics my eager ears lept at with a ferocity I almost forgot I possessed.

I’ve been alone for a few days. Rainbow and Captain took their sweet time and subsequently I took a zero here, in Dalton, MA, waiting on them. God how I missed a true blue conversation! I’m painfully good at being alone but it has its drawbacks. I don’t know but a meager few souls up here in the North so everything and everybody is new to me and it’s taking a bit to get into the swing of my new surroundings. What I’ve observed primarily about this new crowd is how less social most of them are. Nobody wants to sit and chat anymore! What gives anyways? I get it, I do. The dedication it takes to get this far tends to sap the social out of anyone, myself included from time to time. Still, it astounds me how few people are willing to engage in simple conversation around the shelter picnic tables before dropping off to well-deserved slumber. I missed it, MISS it severely when it’s been a few days with no more than the obligatory, “How’s it going? Have a good hike,” as I pass other weary travellers. And this, from me of all people. Did I mention I’m not terribly social? It’s not that I don’t like talking to people, I just get good and anxious about it even with people I know well. It’s just how I am and I like it that way just fine, thank you. But still! Sometimes it’s nice to sit and chat in a pub with an intelligent fellow with something to say.

That’s all really had to say. We three taxed trekkers (recently renamed The Phanny Pack…hehehe) head out tomorrow for Cheshire and beyond (assuming they ever get here!).

The nice thing about this portion of the trail is how often it passes through or very near towns (even if it is nearly impossible to get a hitch). I only have to carry a couple days of food at a time versus the week or so I was schlepping around down south. Thank god, that shit is heavy. Don’t worry though, I compensate by carrying too much water since it is a serious commodity up here. More good news, the terrain isn’t as bad as I expected so far, if you really love rocks, that is… Looking ahead in the book, rocks will be the least of my worries. It looks like a mini-Mt Everest rollercoaster on repeat coming up. Yay.

All told all is well. As our good friend Mr Vonnegut says, “Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.” Well, close enough anyways. Welcome to another of my mantras. Cheers folks. Take care.

Be happy.


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