I had a great first day in New Hampshire. I woke up early but took my time getting packed up and enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee and some doughnuts I had purchased at the general store.
There was a lot of July 4th news on the local television channels. The security at the Boston Pops annual July 4th extravaganza was going to be really strong and it was getting a lot of coverage. It’s the first big public event in Boston since the bombing at the Boston Marathon and everyone is on high alert. I hope it goes well.
I left the Norwich Inn at 7:00 and started the road walk to Hanover. Norwich was pretty quiet but there was a truck with some guys putting American flags on the telephone polls on Main Street.
I soon crossed over the Connecticut River and entered New Hampshire. Hanover was also pretty quiet with only a few cyclists and runners out on the streets. I wandered through town, saw the Dartmouth campus and found the place I was looking for – Dunkin’ Donuts. It wasn’t a full size DD, just a small one that was part of a gas station and convenience store. The had some special Fourth of July Boston Creme donuts so I got a couple to go. I found a nice park bench in the middle of town and enjoyed my own little July 4th celebration…eating my special doughnuts.
The trail was good today and the weather was warm and humid. I met thru-hiker Gummi Bear, section hiker Worn Heel, and during my lunch break I met a local day hiker, Eric Shirley. Eric and I talked for a long time about the AT. His son is a Marine in Afghanistan and is interested in thru-hiking the AT when he completes his service.
I made it to Trapper John Shelter by 4:30 and set up my tent. A father arrived with his teenage daughter and son and I enjoyed talking to them. They are hiking the New Hampshire section of the AT this summer and have hiked other states in previous summers.
I ate dinner, read and went to sleep early as usual. There was a brief thunderstorm shortly after dark.
Today as I was walking I thought of all of the places our family has celebrated the Fourth of July: Coronado, Newport, Sofia, Lexington, The Outer Banks – I’m probably missing someplace. We’ve had a lot of fun Fourths but this time we’re all in different places and it seems a little strange. Next year I hope that we can all be together.
Here are some photos from the day.