This was an unexpected side trip. I needed a new phone thingie (that’s the technical term), and I was reminded that I really need to treat my stuff with permethrin again, which more or less requires a zero. And there’s the air mattress issue—the outfitter is two miles away, which, let me tell you, does not thrill me. But that’s an aside. Anyway, busy day tomorrow. That’s a lot of stuff jammed into a day, considering that I’m actually a bus ride away from town. But that’s tomorrow!
Today I was up before dawn and packing up in the dark. It was cold! I’ve got a rhythm down, though—an order to things. I pack up in the same sequence most days, right down to pulling up the tent stakes in the same order (then counting them). It takes me an hour and fifteen minutes from the time I put on my glasses until I’m on the trail—fifteen extra minutes if it’s really cold, and sometimes thirty extra if it’s really wet. I’ve done it in an hour, but it was warmer then. Easier to motivate.
Upshot: I can do it in the dark!
I hit the trail at 6:30 or so. I climbed and climbed and hiked and hiked, and made some miles. The day was brisk and breezy, but mostly sunny. The trail had a lot of rocks today, and a lot of the sometimes steep, rolling ups and downs I’m coming to associate with Vermont.
No wildlife. Lots of dayhikers, though. And they were from all over the world, judging by the variety of accents. One group took a picture, bless their hearts: ‘Crazy American Walked 1500 Miles and Stinks Like a Bloated Dead Rat in a Sewer.’ New trail name.
I did use the internet for good! I crossed paths with an elderly German gentleman who couldn’t speak much English beyond ‘shelter’ and ‘far.’ He was trying to figure out how far it was to the next shelter (where I stayed last night). It wasn’t close. I could see what his problem is, and I happened to have a signal, so I converted the eight miles to kilometers and showed him. “Is far!” he said. Yes, my German friend. Is far.
It’s sort of traditional to do something to commemorate the big numbers—500, 1000, etc. But… you know, I forgot. And I’m not going to write it on the shower floor in shampoo or anything. I walked the miles, and that’s enough.
I’m hiking better now than I was 1500 miles ago, but I still fell on my rear end today (slipped on some scree). It’s one day at a time!
Now… what to do about that stupid air mattress so I can actually sleep on it until I can replace it….