My Mom came up with the ‘slumber bummer’ phrase to describe my night camping at the Native Plant Center and it describes perfectly how things went Tuesday night.
It became clear as soon as I climbed into my tent that it was going to be a noisy night. Cars and trucks on the two-lane highway were flying by and then a commuter train rolled through and blasted its horn. I was camped about fifty yards from both the highway and the railroad track. When the trains came by the wind made my tent flutter!
I could have packed everything up and moved on a mile or two but it was almost dark and a light rain was falling. I decided to stay, hoping the traffic would die down and the trains would stop running. I was wrong! I put my ear plugs in which just took the edge off the noise and managed to get a few hours of sleep.
I got up early and was on the trail by 6:00. A cold front had passed through and it was cool, about fifty degrees, which really energized me and I hiked at a fast pace. Late in the morning I crossed into Connecticut and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and forest paths. I crossed the Ten Mile River, which was swollen from recent rains, and had great views at rocky overlooks (see photos below).
I arrived at my destination, the town of Kent, in the early afternoon. Entering town I passed by the campus of The Kent School, est. 1906, which looks pretty exclusive. My first stop was Annie Bannanie’s ice cream shop and then walked to The Fife and Drum Inn and Restaurant where I spent the night. Lady Grey, Postman and Buffalo also stayed at the Fife and Drum and it was good to have company.
I had chores to do so I pulled out all of my gear and spread it around the room to dry. I even put my tent up in the room so that it could dry out! Then I took a long shower and got rid of five days worth of trail dirt and mud. Next stop…the laundromat. I needed to wash all of my clothes, which had not seen the inside of a washing machine since the Relyeas’ house back in Pennsylvania, so I put in my rain jacket and rain pants and took all if my clothes to the laundromat and did laundry. While the clothes were in the washer I walked across the street to the IGA grocery store and got a deli sandwich for a late lunch. I must have been a sight but it didn’t bother me!
Later I sat down with my trail guide and planned out my hiking schedule through July 3rd, which will get me to Norwich, VT where The Princess will send me a mail drop with the winter clothing that I started the hike with back in March. Norwich is several miles from Hanover, New Hampshire, the gateway to the White Mountains and I will need warm clothing there, even in July. It’s hard to believe I’m this far north and starting to prepare for the hiking challenges of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
I got a great night sleep at The Fife and Drum and the weather today is beautiful, clear and cool with low humidity. According to the morning news in TV it will be “one of the ten best days of the year” and then tomorrow a heat wave will arrive. I’m going to enjoy my twenty mile hike today!