It may be completely inappropriate given recent events, but I have the lyrics to “It’s a Great Day” stuck in my head.
Today was indeed a very good day. I slept in, as much as I could, but was still up and on my way by 7:30, leaving most of my gear at the shelter. Destination: Kent, CT. .3 mercifully easy trail miles and .8 road miles away. I really don’t know why this town has a bad rep among hikers, I found it quite welcoming and a great little gem! The town was full of hikers today! I mixed errands with pleasure stops until about 3 pm, then headed back.
- A trip to the laundromat… Ah, clean clothes, right out of the dryer
- A stop at IGA to pick up more tortillas, blueberries, and an impulsive buy of lemon wages cookies
- An excellent lunch at a Chinese restaurant
- A stop at the outfitters to buy more tent stakes (mine keep bending), and ice-creamate
- A stop at the chocolate shop/bakery – chocolate-covered pineapple and blueberry coffee cake for breakfast tomorrow!
- A nice interlude at the library – books and desktop computers!
This was all made possible by the happy discovery that my tent-sack has two extra straps that allow it to be carried like a backpack. Not the most comfortable, but it did make a very adequate day pack for carrying purchases and the clothes bag.
One of the most crucial errands (after I got the phone recharged) was contacting Sierra to arrange for a new backpack. Above and beyond helpful!! They do not carry the type of pack I have anymore, so the rep sent me listings for three choices to pick from, and it looks like I’ll definitely be getting an upgrade! He is sending it next day delivery, it will be in Sharon, CT by 8 pm tomorrow, and I will pick it up Wednesday – tomorrow night and Wednesday night, I will be staying at a hostel in Sharon, give my feet a chance to rest, and figure out how to most efficiently pack the new pack. I will not lose too much time – tomorrow I will do either 11 or 16 miles, depending on terrain. I will be very careful with this pack, for one more day. I may slackpack on Wednesday as well.
Back at camp now, it’s even busier now than last night! I’m not sure if anyone is in the shelter, but there are about 13 tents or hammocks set up, including mine. One tenter has a dog. One has a kid. One gave me Turkish Delight. Two are a father/daughter pair.
Tomorrow, I plan to be up and packed, bright and early. 16 miles is a long hike, but there is this beautifully level 5 mile stretch along the Housatonic River that should be both scenic and very easy on the feet. If I make 16, and I intend to, I can get a shuttle for free instead of paying $10. And since I am staying two nights, slackpacking may also be free.
So… It has been a good day, and the backpack mess very happily resolved. I am resting in my tent, listening to the GA hikers chatting, but not really in the mood to join in. It is getting chilly, and soon I will zip in for the night. Tomorrow is another day!
I hike on.