Day 131 misty

Day 18th August

I woke to the sound of rain heavy rain I sat and watched it dozing for 20 minutes until my second alarm went off
Reluctantly I let the air out of my bed and got up ,visited the loo and retrieved my food bag from the bear box.
The others began to stir. I made tea as i packed up chatting to the other hikers.
The rain eased so I decided to head out. I walked about 50 yards down the trail before I realised that I hadn’t got my poles Arrrh. So walked back . pass me my poles please I said to Zoe. she laughed and handed them over.

Okay bye again I said and walked out again . I passed another hikerĀ  getting water and carried on down the trail, The trail was really sketchy and in the rain it was completely nuts . Huge drops that you really had to reach for . some I spent 10 minutes looking for a way down . they were the fun ones.
Eventually I was down and on to the next challenge I pushed on struggling over each different obstacle . At last I came to the first hut and was hoping for some free food.

I dropped my pack outside and went in I misheard the lady and stiicrd my face with cake and coffee but I was only supposed to eat the pancakes. shut no one said oops. I brought a beanie from.the store as I needed some extra warmth. and s few snacks as j was low .

After the hut it was my first climb ..it seemed to go on forever and it was steep at last I reached the summit . which today was locked in by cloud . I stood admiring the non view. before heading down
My next two climbs were exactly the same. I was slightly disappointed but then yesterday was amazing.

As I was making my way down from Zealand mountain Samaritan, shortmile and Sasquatch came by . I must of passed them yesterday. We gave each other abuse. They were making for the same camp ground as me. but we’re going to call in at the hut .

I caught them at the hut and joined them Inside.
I ordered my free bowl of soup which was really tasty. So good in fact I had another but had to pay for that one.
As I’m munching away three other hikers arrived. who I hadn’t seen in a while. pippin. sparks and Shan. I took some photos. Then headed off to the shelter.

The last two miles were tough and I began to struggle.
I was so happy to arriveĀ  at the shelter puffing and panting. The caretaker helped me settle in. It was his birthday so he gave me a beer. Once I was unpacked i wandered over and joined Samaritan & co by the food area. we swapped abuse until it was bed time

Start. 1828
Finish. 1842
Miles. 14
Miles to go 326

Day 130 The whites

Friday 17 th August

I was awake fairly early and was packed and ready to go. I hoisted my pack and carried it over to the cooking area. Retrieved my food bag and made breakfast.

Then I was good to go, It was a steep climb to do is he off that took me up to the ridge.

Once up it was a beautiful day, but sadly I couldn’t see anything typical. I pushed on through the cover of the trees and then began my first climb and it was steep and again nothing to see .

Then WOW THE mountains begin yo appear. it’s little haystack and it’s wow it takes me a while to get to tbe peak but wow. I sit for several minutes before continuing on. next was lincon again gorgeous.

after all the dull miles and months this is the Jewel in the crown. I was just blown away .

I was next onto Lafayette. as I approached it it disappeared into the fog and cloud. That’s a shame I said to myself .But I had been lucky so far. but as I climbed it me go ally reappeared and wow just amazing. When I finally sumitted there were about a dozen people milling around.

One man.i spoke to and he was telling me that the next mountain Garfield the journey to.it will be tough with a lot of ups and downs. oh and a storm.around 2pm

I thanked him for the Info and began my decent. and yes he was right. the first decent was good with easy to navigate over rocks. Then i was back Into the trees and then the fun started.

it took me most 2 hours to go y summit Garfield. but wow what a view and to look back over all the climbs that I had all ready done.

I found a sheltered spot and ate lunch and relaxed. as I st there the clouds/mist came and went erasing my views. and then allowing it to reappear.

Okay next mountain I set off gingerly down as the trail was a mess with very long steps where the water had washed the stone away. Eventually it evened out into a nice path and the next minute I was lying on the ground with blood leaking from.my arm.Fuck fuck I had slide on a stone and grazed my arm..I lay in a heap for a few minutes before getting up and dusting myself down..Any other injuries ? No I’m good I continued on passing a sign for. a campsite and water. I stopped and grabbed a litre and was just about to move on when it began to rain.

I remembered the storm so decided to take shelter. The caretaker was named Rachel and was really helpful and friendly.

there was no-one else there so I decided to stay in the shelter so paid my $5.

As I relaxed in the shelter the storm seemed to have vanished ….typical oh well I’ll have an early night instead

Start. 1820

Finish. 1828

Miles. 8

miles to go 340

Day 129 Nero from woodstock

Thursday 16th August

there was no hurry to get up as I hadn’t planned on getting back to the trail untill lunch time or around about.

But I had the fidgits so at 7.30 I emerged . sat outside on the veranda was Peach and his mate whose name escapes me. They were heading out shortly.

I went upstairs and poured myself a coffee then went to retrieve my clothes from the “Clean Basket”

My next task was to get my stuff ready for the post office. once sorted I set off it was about 1.5 miles but I- was hopeful of a hitch……….

But I was wrong. I arrived at the postoffice slightly warm.

The lady came back with 4 packages. my shoes, my mp3 player, patches and my map. I bounced the map then put my spare stuff in a box and posted that. then swapped over my shoes and mailed them back to REI . Okay all done I decided to look into the market 4 shops down but some how from.leaving the postoffice to the shop I managed to loose my Mp3 player. I retraced my steps but to no avail..someone got a nice present. it wasn’t expensive . but I was annoyed with myself

I brought a drink from.the shop and headed back again with my thumb out but again nobody stopped to pick.me up.

My next chore was to sort my tent out. Tick.

Complain to Solomon’s.. Tick

Sort out socks. I think that’s a tick.

Put more money on my card..

Disaster… it wouldn’t allow me to do it. so i wasted the whole afternoon ringing my bank in the UK. No nothing wrong their end. I rang Caxton . couldn’t get though. I emailed support after numerous attempts only to find it was a Tec glitch . and should be fixed tomorrow. So by then ok had missed the shuttle and the next was at 3pm . So I can relax right!!.

No more phoning and chasing people . Arrrrhhhh. 1…2… 3 and breath.

I eventually switched off my phone. and packed up ready to get back.to the trail.

I thanked Bookie for a great stay as I loved the hostel..

I was soon walking again but as the day was almost over. I aimed for the first campsite .

Oh what a climb it took me 2.5 hrs phew. I found the care taker . look for a pkatform.

he said. but after several minutes searching i couldn’t find an empty on so ended up sharring a platform as it was so busy.

Once my tent was up I went to the communal cooking area. there were several hikers hiking the loop trail ( Quite popular ) It waa a nice fun atmosphere as we chatted away. After tea I put my food in the bear box and headed to my tent.

It’s fairly cold up here so I’m concerned that i maynot be warm emough. First chance I will buy a woolly hat.

Night all

Start. 1817

Finish. 1820

Miles. 3 + 1 mile side

miles to go

Day 128

Wednesday 15th Aug

I rolled out of bed and went to visit the loo. Then began to pack up . although I had stuff everywhere

i grabbed my pack and carried it down to.the hostel and sat it on a bench. Then i grabbed a lemonade from.the fridge and necked it, before pouring myself a coffee.

I repacked my pack putting it in in its correct order.

I sat chatting to other hikers as I watched other hikers walk out the door heading for the trail. I was finding it hard to leave. I brought myself a breakfast croissant and as it cooked in the microwave refilled my water bladder and finished packing. I woofed my breakfast then paid my bill.

I put on my socks and shoes stowed my flip flops and I was ready.

Samaritan, Sasquatch and shortmile had just left .

i walked back to the trail with a hiker Named Badger

We crooosed the first creek. Then began climbing. This first mountain was called moose xx

and was 4 miles up I climbed at my normal.pace , slow and steady slow and steady . it was fairly mice switchbacks and then it began to get steeper and steeper .

soon I was clambering over rock and it was slippery. I eventually got to the top just gone 12 pm almost 2.5 hours and was there a view . Sadly not the mist wirled around . the Sun teased but the mist was in charge.

I stood at the summit admiring the fog then found a sheltered position to have some snacks and drink my can of red bull that I had carried in case I needed the energy buzz.

So once up it was down..again itvwas a nice trail for the first half hour . THEN it dived sharply down and was huge rocks to navigate aground or over . Once again slow is safe and safe is slow. as I neared The next hut the boys appeared .Samaritan, Sasquatch and shortmile.

I began to follow them.down that seemed to take forever, But no-one wanted to hurry and hurt themself.

as we decended we passed many beautiful waterfalls. In some places the trail was so steep thst wooden steps had been fixed into the rock.

sat lasted were all down..I walked into the car park. where a triple crown hiker. was doing trail magic.. the boys shortly joined me . she cooked us each a breakfast roll . cheese, pesto, egg and potato which we delicious and then gave us beer .

The other were hiking on but I was Heading to TOWN.

I was staying at the hostel. as I had stuff yo.get in the morning from post office.

I soon got a Hitch checked in ..grabbed loaner clothes..en took a shower..had a panic as I had mislaid my phone ..almost calamity as in had dropped it on the road.

I then got a ride into town..brought some beer and snacks then hitched back

now chilling after woofing.a pizza and supping beer .

Start. 1792

Finish. 1801

Miles. 9

miles to go 389

Day 127

Tuesday 14th Aug

I had just finished packing when a lady hiker came past. so I fell in behind her

I could of made the shelter last night as it was only another 1.5 miles. but then that makes everything late. I followed her up.the climb until she said she needed a break .
See you up there l I said and pushed on
The trail was nice with switch backs but they soon stopped and the climbing began . it was a hands needed climb. and not that well blazed, where next? this way . I scrambled up and was looking forward to the view…
But sadly there was none just fog and more fog.

I stood staring into the gloom . Okay snail let’s go I pushed on or rather I would if I knew where I was going. luckily a SOBO appeared out of the mist The next few hours were a combination of bouldering and climbing up and down up and down..
Suddenly I began to hear lots of cheering and shouting. maybe it’s a swimming hole. But when I emerged onto a road it made sense. It appeared to be a large sports ground and the kids were playing footie or similar.
I walked a short way down the road in the opposite direction, then began my next climb.I pushed on as I wanted to get to at least 12.30 before stopping for lunch As I emerged out onto another road I heard
Would you like a cold beer?
Yes please I said looking around and seeing an old chap sat by his pickup truck.

I dropped my pack and walked over.
Beers are in the cooler he said
I reached over and grabbed a can then sat on his tailgate as I sipped it as I chatted to him.
He was up from Florida visiting friends at a hostel.
she suggested that I stop by.
I hadn’t looked that far ahead , it sounded a great place.
I thanked him for the beer and set off back up trail.
He said the hostel was approx 9 ish miles
That would work, I said to myself.

As I hiked on my tummy began to rumble as I hadn’t eaten yet.I remembered that I had snacks in my pocket.
At 4 pm I decided to take a break and found a great rock. I dropped my pack took off my socks and shoes to air my feet.
I attacked my snacks . as I sat relaxing a hiker couple came past who I hadn’t seen before.
I took 20 minutes before moving off. Okay snail 4 miles to go or 2 hours. I put my headphones on found some music and zoned out . It wasn’t long until I was standing at the road. I needed to go right for .25 of a mile.
I hadn’t walked far when a large black people carrier stopped it was the Boston hiker whose name I still don’t know .Do you know him his dad said who was driving .

I chucked my pack in the back and jumped in .It wasn’t far to the hostel
As we drove in, sat in front on a picnic bench was Short mile and Sasquatch.
Bloody he’ll guys great to see you
I thanked Boston’s Dad then walked into the hostel
The care taker handed me some linen then walked me around the place.
I was in the new Bunk room which I thought was amazing . Almost palatial. it had only just been built as it smelled of fresh pine. I grabbed a upstairs bunk and unpacked .
I walked back to the hostel as there was a village run. or rather great food and beer run.

We got dropped at the store. I ordered a hiker burger, Strawberry milkshake and fries. Then walked to the shop and brought a few snacks and beer.Once back at the hostel I set to work on my burger, it was massive and I didn’t really need the chips.
Once my dinner was eaten I did laundry then jumped into the shower. It was so nice to be clean with clean clothes.
I joined the other hikers outside and relaxed drinking beer and chatting about the trail.
At 9pm I went inside where some hikers were watching the Big Lebowski.
A great film ..Once over i turned in

Start. 1776
Finish. 1792
Miles. 16
Miles to go 398

Day 126

Monday 13th August

I had several owls serenading me in the night.. Nice.

I was up by the time my second alarm went off and was soon packed on on trail by 6.45 I wanted 18 if I could do it but knew I had some hefty climbs to do .

I plugged my headphones in and listened to 2 bravo zero a talking book I had downloaded as some had recommended thst I read it. Not my usual book but a talking book is easier and it may help me with the miles.

I pushed on listening to Andy. I hadn’t gone too fstcwhen I saw a hiker waving to me . I took one headpiece out of my ear.

Do you have an android phone he asked,?

I recognised him as the fast hiker from Boston but couldnt remember his name.

His phone appeared dead and he wanted to try a different charger / cable. I duely obliged but no life appeared in the phone.

Yep looks dead. I suggested. leaving it plugged in for a while just in case..

he put the charger back into.my pack and thanked me as i returned to the trail I’m sure thst sometime he would race back past me..

I began the customery first climb and chugged my way up eventually emerging out onto a clearing and with some great views. although a bit misty and overcast. as I began the decent a misty rain began to fall. I stopped to put on my pack rain jacket as misty rain has a habit of becoming a deluge.

I continued to go down and began to clamber over huge chunks of rock and being now wet they were slippy a d so I was slow . at last I was at the bottom and a flat bit for a while. I crossed over a road and there was the familiar trail board given information and telling you the food and donts

Sitting nearby was a sobo . how’s it going I asked .

Good thanks he replied. then added so are you ready for the climbs?

I was never ready for the climbs but I knew that they were there .

I laughed at his question. .

Then continued on . I saw a sign that read please do not shoot the bears with a collar.

This made me both laugh and feel sad. As yes they shoot bears on this state.

I did the usual meandering then the trail shoot upwards. I dragged myself and my pack up some bits were steep sometimes you got a rest but it was still up .my watch was keeping score with its hourly pings at 11.30 I was completely knackered and saw the perfect spot to sit and take a break plus it had a lovely view too.

I dropped my pack and set with my back to a large rock . trying to get my breath and relax at the same time. Then i broke into.my snacks and stuffed my face with mini mars bars, skittles, slimjims. and dried apricots washed down with a few slurp from my bladder. I took about 20 minutes and I was just about to leave when I thought exped. my mattress has an Inflator called a snozzel bag and you fill it full of air then pushing into your bed. easy peasy. and I love it much better than arriving knackered at camp then trying yo inflate it by huffing and puffing into it.

But my snozzel bag had torn so was useless. I spoke to a really helpful man at the end of the phone but I hadn’t done my homework so blurted out the next post office on my list.

It would be there Friday fantastic and so j felt relieved and very pleased with myself. itvwas only later when I was checking my maps that I discovers that the post office was miles away and miles away from.the trail dam and bugger how did I manage to do that when the next post office is achy on trail and I walk through the town. Dam too late now as I can’t change itvwas cell service is so patchy. I will just have to hitch there grab it and hitch back probably a waste of a day. but that’s my fuckup.

I put it out of my mind and got back to th trail . It was very similar to earlier. two big climbs then a down

As I circled down I met a lady who was getting water her name was fern as in Charlottes Web. We chatted for a few minutes as I too got water.

Then it was the next climb and again this had huge chucks of rock to get over or around. it.

but then I began to drop down and I could see a road. as I crossed over I could see Fern. and in the parking area was the familiar RV that Ossie and wander woman used. .I walked straight on and began to climb up the other side when ibsaw them behind me. I waved then pushed on.

it seemed to take me ages to get up this next hill, mountain as I summited I met another hiker who was sat puffing too.

how did you find that he asked.

It’s a killer i replied too many climbs today and I’m really struggling.

I’m glad it not just me then he said, then added when ate you headinging the camp ground or the hut. ?

Neither I said I will walk to 6 and see where I am but I donwantvto get down the other side. As I knew there was one more big climb. as it had the fire tower in top.

As I left the other hiker I headed down then imeaditly back up over more rock and the blazes were not so easy to find so you stood staring and looming around untill you could spot one. I found this really frustrating . and the trail wasn’t easy with the slippery rock and huge steps to pull your self up. The trail evened out so I pushed. and ran into a dozen weekend hikers going the other way. Have a great hike was the usual reply . then several sobos came past one was hiking barefoot omg wow . Rather him.thsn me. Then a really attractive girl came by in a crop top. good Luck I called . several more yards I found a bra on the trail I presumed it belonged to her but by now she was out of ear shot and I had no intention of chasing after her so I just hung it on a branch. If another sobo came along I would ask them to grab it.

Now came the last climb, well the last climb that I intended to do it was 4pm and I was tiring and I really wanted to walk to 6 if my little legs would only oblige. the climb started and went on and in and up it was Streep in was tired ..I began to swear at the trailrsil and urge myself on my legs hurt my feet hurt my shoulders hurt. as I dragged my pack up this last mountain . omg omg I kept stopping, slurping water and pushing on again . then the trailrsil got even steeper and the rock became huge slabs .No grip and these were still wet. The word is challenging but I could think of several more. After the slabs there were rock steps . again steep. I arrived at a sort of half way point. again solid slabs of rock but the first half had wooden steps up and then the second slab had iron railings drilled into them to help you climb

once over thst it was rock steps again. I swore more kept stopping . slurping drink then pushing on ..I was very slow I was very tired..why does the Applalacian trail make you climb every single bloody mountain. At last I was on soil. still up but a more gentle incline.

Then i was almost stvtge top. several signs pointed to camp sites (tenting). I walked on and still up..At last there it was the fire tower. I took 5 minutes before moving on. I went to look at the shelter Or Rather the old fire wardens but. There was one lady hiker here..I said my hellos had a nose around then set off down the trail. I hadn’t gone far when the xxx mud returned . FUCK.

I thought that I had seen the last of this . it really slows you down unless you dont care and steam straight through it. then I was really surprised then trail trams had been really busy . logs had been put in to direct water away from.the trail. A huge amount if effort had gone until this and it still looked as it was in process. Further on and huge planks. and nails had been left at the edges of the biggest bogs .

Wow they are going to bridge all these . there were endless all A and bases and more nails as I continued my decent ..and every now and then there was more water management .going on ..again trying to move the water off of the trail . This really bubbles me as these logs and lengths. of wood all had to be carried up thetrail. It was almost 6 pm when I crossed a fire road and was surprised to see a huge pile of wood thst had been unloaded . all of which would be carried up the trail by volunteers. again I felt humbled.

Okay I needed a camp spot as the light was fading. and my watch said 6.30. I was hoping thst there may be space by the creek at the bottom of this hill.

as I got nearer I could hear the water tumbling down the hill and could. soon glimpse the bridge thst crossed it. when i got nearer i could see several tents this side. I crossed over and was dismayed to see many tents the other side too.. Dam I thought I did a quick scout, nothing

I walked to the road and on the other side was a spot. it was a bit of a compromise but in was tired. it will have to do. I threw up my tent and was making tea in the dark. something I hadn’t done in a while. I ended up eating in my tent with my head torch on .then i made another cuppa and got into my bag.

Oh 20 miles I’m impressed with that and it was a hard 20 too

Start. 1756

Finish. 1776

Miles. 20

miles to go 414

Day 125

Sunday 12th August

I woke several times in the night due to the rain and was dozing until 5am . as I was wide awake I switched my alarm off but on my head torch and stumbled to the privy.

On the way back i retrieved my food bag and juke boxes as she had hung hers with mine

I rolled her food bag under her tent then went back to my tent and began to pack up. It was just dusk when I was done. I put on my stove for tea and breakfast. when both were done I went and dat by the shelter. the 3 lady ovipants were just getting up .We chatted a while then I stowed my cup and spoon

.said good by and hsppy trails to jukebox who was just stiring and walked out of camp and back to thr trail.

As I headed down the trail it seemed to be getting darker not lighter and there was a sea mist in the air. well it looked like that. But it was very very warm , how weird.

I marched on as it was about 5 miles to the bridge and the border… New Hampshire whoop . First chore was my first climb , but it wasnt too steep. after that it was a fairly nice trail. For some reason I expected to see some moose but as I hadn’t seen a deer in weeks that was probably not going to happen after several hours i emerged onto a road. it took me a few minutes to see the blazes, as they headed down hill. as I began to walk along the road the first house thst I came too had a large coolbox full of coke and a box filled with sweets

.I signed the book, sat on the bench that was left there and drained a coke grabbed a few sweets and continued on my way. the next house had a similar set up and the next and the next house. somewhat a welcome. one of the houses had a sign saying hikers are welcome to use their pool.

Thst would of been nice but now it was raining and raining fairly hard. I kept walking in the rain . it was about a 3 mile road walk to Hanover. .So it was going to be a wet welcome. I crossed over the road and followed the road under several bridges . I could see road signs pointing to Hanover so began to get a little excited. In the distance I cod see the greyish waters of the Connecticut river, I must be close, and then there it was .

I.loved the bridge with its huge concrete globes and in the middle was the border line.

hurrah and whoop whoop I’m in New Hampshire a wet New Hampshire but I’m here only 1 more state to go But I have to cross the whites.

I took a dozen or so photos then carried on in to town the water streaming off of me. Once I was here I looked around a coffee would be nice … well anything hot would be nice. Starbucks that will do

I walked in and dropped my pack god it was freezing inside so rummaged in my pack for something warmer to put on..To my amazement itvwas filled with mainly college girls wearing less than me and obviously not feeling the cold. weird. I ordered a large white coffee and a breakfast muffin . Signed into Wi-Fi and uploaded all the outstanding stuff from my phone. I stayed until 11.30 then itvwas lunch time and wanted curry or st least something different. I walked along the road u till I saw it. I crossed over and laughed to myself as I saw all the packs lined up ourside. I spotted mine in between them and walked in. The place was heaving with hikers and students. I grabbed a plate from a table and got In The queue. there were bowls of different foods, salads , nann river and sauces. I loaded my plate and sat down and then ordered a beer. the food was really good. so I went back for seconds. and may be a third time drank a second beer then I was done. I left full and dat and very pleased. I put on my pack and was just about to walk when I got chsttingvto a large group of SOBOS.we stood chatting for ten minutes..they invited me to join them for more beer. an option I would normally have jumped at but I was full and I wanted a few more miles as j spent the morning on Starbucks and my. lunch in India lol. I reluctantly said good bye and good luck to them and continued down the road. I had to cross over the busy intersection and dat out side. a large shop was the commander and his posse.

I went and said hi.as I was chatting Bleep and sir-dancealot came out of the shop do I thought I’d have a quick wander. I emerged with. one more meal, 2 oranges, 2 Apples, a bag of cherries and a pint of wine . I quickly shoved them all into my pack . said my goodbyes again and headed on down the road. It was only 5 more minutes of road walking. then the trail headed back into.the woods and UP!.

I pushed on after about an hour I came to a sign pointing to Velvet Rocks shelter. but it was off trail so I pushed on untill I came to another sign pointing to water. it was .14 miles off trail but i wanted it.

I soon found it and filled up then retraced my steps back to the trail. okay I will walk to 5 pm so that should give me approximately 5 more miles.

I plugged into my headphones and pushed on I crossed several roads. Inn the last pnevthefe was a water cache. so I swapped my water for fresh. Now I can stop anywhere. so I felt pleased. just then it began to drizzle bottoms I said to myself it was 5pm but i felt good so was going to push on but i didn’t want to put my tent up in the rain do began to look for a spot. There that will do.me nicely.

I soon had my tent up and my line hung and as a treat I had done with my dinner .

whoop another state down !!

Start. 1743

Finish. 1756

Miles. 13

miles to go 434

Day 124 The hills are alive

Saturday 11th August

I really enjoyed my fire last night. as I walked past the ashes and onto the trail.
After a brief spell in the forest i began to drop down into some meadows but being early they were covered in dew so I was soon wet . after several fields I arrived st the trail head. The notice board had adverts for the local farm , I think lot of hikers headed there last night , but I was more than happy with my location.

I crossed the road then began my first climb of the day that eventually turned out to one in many. Once up my first climb I had great views of the surrounding hills and mountains. I pushed on and began my second climb that once at the top gave me even better views of the countryside
I climbed over a stile ,as I was fairly high I thought that I would try my phone so switched air plane off. immediately it began to buzz and bleep. so I answered a few emails. I was so engrossed that i didn’t see sir-mixalot creep up behind me and make me jump .Bastard !!.

Bleep then came racing past me. I put my phone away and gave chase well in my mind I did. My legs were not so confident. As I kept stopping to shoot video and take photos I was soon caught by the commander and his crew. followed them for a while before pushing past them.

Today’s trail didn’t look to bed on the map but then constant up and downs were killing me .
add them all up and it’s several tall mountains. As I stopped to admire the view the two Norwegian hikers came by. I continued after them catching them sat by a creek as there was trail magic. are I cold boxes filled with lemonade and orangeade. I crossed the creek and grabbed a lemonade just as they both got up to leave. I was just finishing off my drink when the commander and his crew turned up and a few minutes after them , Passenger arrived ( The German with the noisy pad )
I said see you up.the trail guys and continued the short distance up the trail before it crossed over the road.
Once over it was another big climb. Again nice switchbacks at first then vertically up well almost.
I huffed and puffed my way up, as Passenger whizzed past me . I huffed and chugged and puffed and chugged some more until I was at the top.
Sat at the top were the two Norwegians and Passenger.
I was taking more photos when the Commander, wander woman, and Aussie arrived. so we took Several photos then group photos. as we are all taking photos of each other when sir-mixalot and bleep arrived. Where have you been guys we asked.

We went to the farm house for drinks and ice cream
Yup, there was a sign on the tree before we all climbed. After more photos we all set off together as a big group but it wasn’t long until the original order was re-established.
I pushed on through the forest climbing up and down and up and down. As I began another decent I noticed loads of cables winding their way around the trees. I first thought may be they were to inject pesticide into the trees to combat disease. Dan a friend of commanders actually knew the answer. They are to tap the maple trees and collect the Sap that is made into Maple syrup.

the cables (pipes) are then attached to a pump that sucks the syrup into collecting tanks.
Ping my watch announced that its now 12 pm . okay I’ll stop at the next shelter and get water too.
It wasn’t long till I was sat on the step of the shelter. sadly the water was far, but I needed it. When i returned with water the commander and co were there. We all ate lunch before returning to the trail. Commander and co were only doing another 5 miles as that’s where their RV was parked.

I however wanted to do another 8 ish! well at least to the next shelter . but I had a big climb before it.

I continued the roller coaster trail up then down. I passed a lady hiker Named Juke box. this was my third hiker that I had met with that name .
we leapfrogged each other for most of the afternoon.
As i emerged out of the forest i came face to face with three goats. Their owners were Trying to put them.in a pen. then just past them were two people with weed whackers cutting the trail. I stopped and chatted for a few moments. before pushing on .
I emerged out onto another road and followed it towards the river. As I crossed the bridge I heard SNAIL. It was sir-mixalot and bleep. They were jumping off of the bridge into the river below

Omg no thank you, and continued on .On the other side of the bridge was passenger.

Go to the house SNAIL. there are sodas and fruit.
Cheers unsaid and walked to the house
I dropped my packed, and was invited onto the porch. I quickly downed a lemonade. ate 2 large slices of water melon. 5 peaches. a handful of blueberries , some cake then washed that down with more lemonade

Okay 1 more hill to climb a d then that will do me . about half way I up i stopped for water okay now it doesn’t matter if I make it too the top. But I would like to get there.I pushed on and up . actually it didn’t take as long as I expected before the shelter sign appeared.
I followed the trail and there was the shelter. This would be the last shelter in zvdfmong and it was rely nice stone building 2 stories. The 2 Norwegians were sat I front having dinner. I found a spot for my tent and I was soon set.

I visited the privy next omg what a huge nice loo.
Back at my tent I began to cook supper when the girl hiker that I had been leapfrogging all day arrived.
So who are you I asked ?
I’m Jukebox she replied.
Spooky I said I met your mother she gave me a ride into Manchester. and brought me breakfast.
we chatted for sever hours before it was time to crash

Jukebox & SNAIL

Start. 1725
Finish. 1743
Miles. 18
miles to go 447

Day 123

Friday 10th Aug

the sunlight woke me before my alarm so I switched it off and dozed. eventually I pulled the stopper from.my bed and emerged into the morning, retrived my food bag and began to pack up.

I was in no great hurry a d stepped back o to the trail by 7.30.

Okay mountain I’m ready for you today.

This mountain had lovely switchbacks a small climb and more switch backs . I really like this type of trail although it was still a long way up .

back and fourth a climb back and fourth and a climb eventually I got to the top and yup you guessed it nothing to see. although this time I didn’t go straight down .Instead I stayed on the ridge and in the trees . I pushed on , on this roller coaster trail untill I stopped. and I just laughed.

I have a weird Soh…. in front of me was a ladder chained to the Rockface go help you get down..in fact what a great idea but I still found it hilarious .

I climbed down and continued on . as I hiked down the trail I met to Sobos we wished each other luck and headed in our different directions. I pushed on I’ll take a break at 12 I promised myself. my watch pinged 11, an hour to go SNAIL then you can chill andctelax and eat some of this good that I am carrying.

It was nearing 12 as I crossed the road. opposite sat a family cooking and relaxing or so it seemed. I paused to see where the trail went.

“we are doing msgic” the lady announced.

Oh I said you loomed likd a family relaxing.

Burger she asked?

God yes i said and dropped my pack.

sit there, her husband said pointing to an amazing looking rocking chair . Beer?

Yes please. He handed me a beer , itvwas cold and tasted so good. Your burgers ready she said. A huge burger with melting cheese was handed yo me . Help yourself to pickles and chips (crisps).

I squirted on some sauce then went and sat back down in my rocker with my beer.

We started chatting as more hikers began to appear from both directions. I drank my beer and scoffed my burger.

I have another here if you want it snail she said offering me another large burger

Yes please i would love one ( even though I am carrying a ton of food) Oh help your self to another beer.

Again I returned to my chair.

2 other then arrived I had met his before but couldn’t remember where !! Which annoyed me. His name was Sir dancealot and his lady companion was called Bleep . but I didn’t ask why.

Their daughter in a mountain runner and is sponsored by Solomon’s and Darn Tough and as we are chatting they pull out a huge box full of Darn tough socks. Help your self she said . Wow what a selection . I took two pairs and shoved them in my pack.

I was passed another beer and as I opened it . Ossie, the commander, wander woman and a new guy came through. So I got up to welcome them and give them all a huge hug

The man then began to cook corn on the cob on the fire or rather in the ashes. I was rather impressed……But. Omg I have been here almost 2 hours I need to go!!.

O thanked every one wished all the Sobos hood luck.warned them about the Mud!. Said see you all up the trail to the Nobos and left the party.

That was so so nice that i would of liked to have stayed longer.

I spent most of the afternoon In the forest. The most exciting thing was seeing a rabbit. oh and another red squirrel.the squirrel was too fast and we all know what’s rabbit looks like .

Don’t we ?

Ping went my watch 4pm and I need water. I was near to a shelter , well when I say near it was .4 off trail but I needed water so reluctantly walked down the Blue Blazed trail.

When i go to the shelter there were two guys from Tennessee whom were section hiking north. They only go from shelter to shelter so they were done for day.

Introduced myself then asked where’s the water?

Just behind the shelter they said. I took both bottles and headed towards the water. It was a spring and the water was icey cold. I filled both bottles and returned to the shelter. Decanted one into.my bladder..flavoured it then shoved it back into my pack.

then i returned to fill it up again as I plan to camp shortly . Or rather I want to walk for 2 more hours.

I was just leaving.when the German with the annoying mattress arrived.

I welcomed him politely then headed back the .4 miles to the Trail.

I was just nearing the junction when Commander and the crew snaked past.

I soon caught and passed them wished them well and pressed on . I spent the last two hours in pine forest. ping went my watch announcing that itvwas now 6pm and if by magic a flat tent spot appeared with a fire ring.

PERFECT!!! I quickly put up.my Tent. hung my line ready for my food bag . I stowed all my gear and then I was ready to relax and make supper.

But instead I choose to make a fire . my first of the trip. It diddnt take long to get it going in fact I was rather pleased with it . I put my chair together and began to cook by the fire .

Bloody hell, I had to move my chair back as it was toooo hot.

But in a nice way. dinner was teriyaki noodles with tuna. surprisingly tasty ha ha.

I washed that down with two more cups of tea .

Then packed up. Hung my food bag then made my final drink of hot chocolate and retired to my tent

Night all

Start. 1708

Finish. 1725

Miles. 17

miles to go 465

Day 122 Trying to leave Rutland

Thursday 9th

I made my way down to breakfast and enjoyed hot coffee, toast and omelette.

I had a few chores. so there was no hurry to leave. I visited the post office to get a padded envelope to send my mp3 player back . Then I visited UPS to drop the package off. I then took another quick visit to Wal-Mart to look at suitcases to get my kit home as my transporter is still lost in the mail somewhere.

As I arrived back at the hostel it was great to see xxx. and. xxx so group hug and photo

Okay I need to get out of here, but first I need to order another pair of shoes as the MUD has killed my current pair and in less than two weeks !!. I’m curious to see how the new Darn Tough socks cope.

As I did my chores Crawl Daddy began to take the Mick out of me. saying your never leave and it will soon be lunch time and nobody hikes out after lunch. Tab also joined in with the mockery.

Okay shoes ordered. I slink back to my room shoved the rest of my gear into my pack. stepped out of the loaner clothes and dumped them into the laundry bucket.

I dragged my pack fown stairs then refilled my bladder with fresh water. I went back upstairs to have one last sweep of the room then I was good to go. so placed money into the donation box said good bye to the hikers still chilling in the lounge then hoisted up my pack and walked down the last flight of stairs to the road.

The brilliant sunshine blinded me a I stepped out onto the street and it was hot!

I made my way to the bus station and dat on one of the benches by my bus. I had 10 minutes before it left.

shortly before 1.15 the driver appeared opened the doors and motioned for me to get on.

The bus is very good value $2.

soon I was heading back to the trail. I watched out of the window as the mountains began to get closer. there were several other people on board. but I wasnt sure where it’s final destination was.except it turns round and goes back to Rutland .

My stop soon appeared and the bus slowed and stopped for me to get off . I thanked the driver and dragged my pack off.

Again the heat hit me. I hoisted up my pack and crossed the road. Oksy snail here we go it was now 2.30 a very late start and do I didn’t expect much 6 or 7 miles would be good.

after about an hour I came to a trail junction .This us where the Long Trail splits with the AT. I must admit the trail from this point. has had a fair bit of maintenance and i have to say all good. I pushed on and soon came to another state park .the trail winds it’s way through so I pass many tents with glorious aromers wafting through the air. eventually I arrive at another stunning lake. The trail shirts aground the edge. As j walk I am.passed by several families all in swimming. costumes and carrying towels.

I eventually emerg out onto a road with better views of the lake I wander up to get a better view . and stare for a few minutes before rejoining the trail. I push on through the forest thinking wow what a lovely evening .I crossed over another road with signs pointing to the falls. but it’s on trail so it looks like I’m heading thst way.

The falls when they come into view are pretty impressive. and there is a walkway so I can get a better view .

I’m.just leaving when several day visitors arrive. as I continue on I am once again on a walkway that takes me through the marshland One the other side is the trailhead . as I arrive a voice offers me a coke.

Yes please I say as my eyes focus. He open a the cooler and my eyes see a beer. Is the beer spare or is it yours. It’s yours he says.

As I speak to him and his girlfriend I suddenly realise that I knew him . so my quick beer stop turns into a 40 minute natter

But I need to get on as it’s now a 4 mile climb up and it’s almost 6.

I enthusiastically say good bye and begin the climb. but I know it’s not going to happen. so as soon as I see a spot thst I can get into I drop my pack.

Tent is soon up. followed by my bear line then tea.

Start. 1702

Finish. 1708

Miles. 6

Miles to go 483