Zerozerozerozero… Though can it really be counted as a zero if you drive over a hundred miles? Why, yes, it can…
The word of the day today is ‘serendipity’!
The day started early; I was planning to be on the road by 7, but happily postponed my departure an hour in order to have breakfast with my sister Mary at the diner across the street from the motel. The pancakes they served were so huge, even I couldn’t finish two! The coffee was great, the food was great, and it was great to catch up with Mary as well. (Did I great enough, or what?)
I was, however, on the road by 8; I had to return the rental car by 11, and it was a 2.5 hour drive normally. What with getting gas, and stopping for a pit stop or two, I got to the rental place about 11:10. No problem; car returned, all was well.
And here’s where the day turned serendipitous. The rental shop shuttler dropped me back off at the library near the hostel, at my request. Now, it was pouring in the mountains around Rutland, and looked like it was going to continue for a while; also, it barely broke 60, so it was both cool and rainy, with T-storms forecast, so I was already of two minds about hiking. I looked up some things at the library, then left about noon, to go check out the bus schedules for the ride out to the trailhead.
Down the street I went, toward the hostel and the bus stop, and, behold! An optician shop! I could get my primary pair of glasses repaired! Except… it was closed – sadness. Except… the owner was out front moving something! He asked me what I needed, I explained about the missing nose piece, and within five minutes, he’d kindly fixed it for me. People can be so kind!
Down the street I continued, toward the hostel and the bus stop, and, behold! A sea of tents in front of the Wal-Mart… I did not have the willpower, as a hiker, to resist a Vermont farmers’ market full of fresh veggies, cheeses, cider, liquor samples, different ethnic foods. Few hikers would have had that kind of willpower! I sampled a lot, and bought a half gallon of cider to share with other hikers.
And then it started pouring again. The 11 mile hike washed away in the rain; but tomorrow I will slackpack 17 miles, regardless of weather, and get that section done anyway. Someday, I will /finally/ leave Rutland. I promise.
Having resolved on staying at the hostel again, I dumped the pack, claimed a bunk, and went back to the library to read a while. During the course of reading, it sink in that today was Saturday. So I checked for Catholic churches nearby – bingo! .2 miles away, and Saturday vigil Mass at 4:30 pm. Serendipity!
The Twelve Tribes group that runs the hostel invited all the hikers staying to their Sabbath celebration and supper afterwards. I have to admit, I was quite curious (and yes, okay, quite hungry, too), so I attended. They sang a lot of praise songs, and danced in a circle as they sang; though it seemed unusual to me, I have no doubt they would find a Catholic Mass just as unusual to them! They then had a sort of testimony time, not sure that’s the right word? Speaking as they were moved to? Something like that. The dinner was very good – a dark sort of rice for a base, with turkey and squash and cucumbers mixed in, and a green salad. Still crave my greens!
After dinner, I went over to the Wal-Mart to resupply on food, I’d used up almost everything. The small pack I will use to slackpack tomorrow is almost all ready to go; I will likely take the bus out to the Rt. 4 trailhead tomorrow and walk south, back to VT 103. The trail terrain doesn’t look too bad – just one big mountain, Mt. Killington. I really do want to get this section done, at least!
It is getting late. My hiking routine will get back to normal after I return from visiting Meg.
I hike on.