As I mentioned in my previous post I started the day by removing about twenty slugs from the tent and from my shoes, which I keep outside the tent in the vestibule of the rain fly. The slugs on the tent are easy to thump off with my finger but the ones in my shoes have to be picked out. It’s a pretty slimy job! I do have hand sanitizer with me so I can clean up afterwards.
I ran into two other northbound thru-hikers today which was a real treat. First I caught up with Dundee who is also recently retired. We had met down south early in the hike but neither of us could remember where. That’s two retired guys for you, isn’t it.
We stopped at a road crossing for a minute to check our directions and who should pop out of the woods but Buffalo, this time without Postman. I’ve mentioned before that I first met Buffalo on my third night on the trail at the Blue Mountain Shelter in Georgia. I’ve been seeing him off and on since Harper’s Ferry with his hiking partner Postman who I also met early in the hike. I asked Buffalo about Postman and he said he had gotten behind due to problems caused by all the rain, mainly chafing. He hoped to reconnect with him soon.
We all walked to the West Hartford Village Store and had snacks. I had my first Starbucks Frappacino of the trip, an apple fritter, a chocolate chip muffin, and a couple of Rice Krispies Treats for the road. We ate and talked then continued hiking. Buffalo and Dundee were going to Hanover and I was stopping in Norwich to stay at the Norwich Inn. It’s a great place to stay with a very good rate for hikers. They have their own brewery and they only sell the beer at the restaurant and pub at the inn. It’s pretty unusual to be so exclusive!
I checked in a little before 1:00 and did my normal town chores – drying out all of my gear, hand washing clothes in the sink, and shopping for groceries at the general store next door. (Today I even set up my tent in the room and turned the a/c on full blast to dry it out.)
Then I went to the pub for a big cheeseburger, sweet potato fries and a beer. Hikers get one free beer with their stay at the inn – nice hospitality. Afterward I got a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from the general store for dessert. (It’s made in Vermont you know.)
Right now I’m sitting in the park across the street from the inn drying my socks on a picnic table. The sun is good here and it’s less embarrassing drying your socks in the park than in the porch of the inn. I haven’t lost all of my manners out here!
Tonight I’ll do some reading and maybe go back to the pub for another meal. Tomorrow I’ll walk the two mile road walk to Hanover where there’s a Dunk ‘n Dine and have a bagel and donut (or two) and check out the town. Then I’ll get back on the trail and hike about twelve miles to a shelter. I’ve got three relatively easy days and then I’ll start going through the White Mountains, probably the biggest challenge of the entire trail.
Tomorrow’s the Fourth of July and I wish you all a ‘Happy Fourth’!
Here are photos or the Norwich and the general store next door.