July 7, 2013
Today’s mileage: 8.7
Total mileage: 1647.8
We had a fairly easy day of hiking into town through the continued mud, rocks, and roots of Vermont. We ran into Kyle, his girlfriend, and his parents as we were hiking towards town. Kyle has been reading my blog and recognized Miles as they passed each other. We enjoyed talking to them about thru-hiking as it began to rain. Kyle was thoughtful enough to save us two peaches from his food supply since he knew he would run into us that day. Thanks, Kyle! The peaches were super juicy and we enjoyed them during our mid-morning break. It rained for about twenty minutes, enough to get us wet, but not enough to dampen our spirits. We knew that we had a bed waiting for us at the hostel. We easily hitched into town and got a ride from Carrie, who was heading into town to check out the sales. She recommended Cilantro for lunch, so she dropped us off there. Cilantro was amazing. I ate a burrito for the first time in months and we sucked down free refills of tasty limeade. Manchester Center is a great little trail town. Everything is within walking distance and there are several great restaurants.
We resupplied at Price Chopper, picked up some Clif Bars from Eastern Mountain Sports, and picked up sandwiches at Zoey’s to eat for dinner later. We had several people come up to us and ask about our thru-hike. Everyone was very interested and one woman even offered to give us a ride to anywhere we needed to go. Lots of great people around here!
Jeff, the owner of the Green Mountain House Hostel, picked us up in town along with section hiker, Donkey. Hands down, this is the best hostel on the trail. If you’re thru-hiking or even just hiking through Vermont, I would highly recommend staying here. It’s the cleanest hostel on the trail, an entire house for hikers to use. There’s a full kitchen with breakfast food and a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s for each guest! I chose Phish Food and Miles had the Boston Cream Pie flavor. The living room has a piano and a guitar, a computer, tons of movies, magazines, and AT maps galore. We took a shower and threw on some loaner clothes while we did free laundry. We even have our own bedroom to lay out all of our gear and organize for tomorrow. And if it weren’t for Sit-A-Bit getting us a room here, we may have missed out on this unforgettable AT spot. We cannot thank you enough, Sit-A-Bit for your generosity! And I will say this again. Don’t miss out on this hostel if you’re planning to hike the AT or the LT (Long Trail).
I took advantage of the computer access and ordered a new pair of Brooks Cascadia 7 trail runners. My shoes are still in great shape; however, I decided to order a new pair to wear beginning in Hanover and until the end of our hike. I started wearing the pair I have now just over the PA-NJ border, at about 1300 miles. Hanover is the halfway point between there and Katahdin, so I figured I would take preemptive measures to keep my feet healthy and just order a new pair of shoes now. The last thing I want to do is deal with foot issues from worn down shoes through some of the most remote parts of the trail in New Hampshire and Maine. I love my Brooks, so I knew that I wouldn’t mind having another pair lying around at home after our hike. I’m not choosing my shoes based on looks for this hike, but it sure helps to look down at your feet during a long day of hiking and say, “damn, that’s a fine pair of shoes.”
A couple of thunderstorms passed through tonight, but I wasn’t phased one bit. I was relieved to be under a roof and not in a flooded tent in the middle of the woods, scared to death.
And now I think I’ll go play the piano some more and read a few trashy magazines. When will Kate go into labor?!