Happy Murphysday to everyone! Seemingly almost everything that could go askew today DID!
Oh, the day started out well. Don’t get me wrong. I had the wonderful, rare luxury of sleeping in late, until 7:30, on a wonderfully comfortable bed. Once underway, the first stop was Walmart, for some cheap non-cotton clothing to replace my dearly departed clothing, wherever it is now. This Wal-Mart had a Dunkin Donuts… Danger, Will Robinson, danger! A croissant and a blueberry donut later, back underway.
The hostel owner kindly dropped me off at the post office, and then I…
WE INTERRUPT THIS BROADCAST TO GIVE A HUGE SHOUT OUT OF THANKS TO GINNY, TO MONTY12, TEAM DAAK & SUPPORT STAFF, AND TO MR. YUCK!!! LOVE YA’ALL!
… picked up some maildrops, and went over to Lou’s for breakfast. This place has incredible food, and they love hikers… As soon as I was seated, out came a free maple crueller! I followed it up with excellent coffee and a bagel with lox, capers, and cream cheese. Full stomach, oh, yes!
AND IF I FORGOT ANYONE, I APOLOGIZE AND THANK YOU, TOO! *struggle sounds and weird screeches over the microphone*
I should have learned this yesterday, but Hanover is very easy to get into by car, and very hard to get out of on foot, even with white blazes. With some resupply, and some getting lost, it was nearly 12:30 before I was back in the foresty part of the trail.
Immediately, New Hampshire had a different feel than the last few days in Vermont. More granite and fewer roots and dirt. The first shelter, Velvet Rocks, was only .7 in, but it felt a lot longer – there was a lot of road walking yesterday, and my feet took a bit of a pounding. And there is where it all started to go wrong.
The vast majority of AT shelters have one path in. Usually clearly marked with blue blazes. This one, for some reason, has at least three blueblazed trails in. And, due to my frantic search for a privy THAT WAS NOT THERE, I was confused, and took a different blueblazed trail out than I had taken in.
A comedy of errors and a swarm of aggravating, biting horseflies and mosquitos later, I emerged from this blueblazed trail onto a paved road, roughly two miles from where the white-blazed AT was also supposed to hit this paved road. So began a long, boring, sunlit roadwalk, far from any blazes at all. The biting insect population loved it though – raw Ziptie was tasty, but they just could not get enough of cooked Ziptie, evidently. Bleh.
Finally, I reached a small parking lot, with a shaded rock to sit on, and threw in the towel; I called one of the shuttling trail angels of Hanover. As it turns out, if I had walked even 5 minutes more, I would have reached the AT trailhead, but honestly, I was done in and hot.
So it was back to the hostel, where I am typing this entry. I had planned to take a nearo, and hike about the distance I did hike today… But, you know, I kinda planned to hike those miles on the AT, not on roads and city streets and unofficial blue-blaze trails. Ah well. Tomorrow I will pick myself back up and keep going. Tonight… BEER.
I hike on.