15.9 miles, 42,104 steps, 305 stories climbed
1692.3/505.7 miles/left, 4,404,047 steps, 37,707 stories climbed
Trail Magic Moments: 47
I woke up really early today. I was up around 4am
and on the trail about 4:45am
. I wanted to get in to Rutland nice and early today. The weather was a bit foggy but nice overall, the ground was of course muddy but I was moving pretty well.
Last night was the first time I stayed in a shelter and had it all to myself. It was nice to have the privacy and lack of snoring but with all the space. I had plenty of room to dry out my tent and there was a nice River in front of the tent to help lull me to sleep.
As I hiked I went by a nice placid lake as well as these rock structures. I was reminded of the Blair Witch Project as I walked by.
As I got closer to the road that would bring me in to town, right before the last hill I came across some serious trail magic.
A woman named Wingmom left two large coolers out, filled to the brim with stuff.
One cooler was filled with ice and drinks. I’m not just talking coke, I’m talking Snapple and Stewart’s sodas. Normally I wouldn’t have taken a glass bottle but being in town at the end of the day I wasn’t going to pass up a free Stewart’s soda!
The other cooler was filled with food. There were oranges and apples, cookies, tons of jerky and many more different things underneath all that (I definitely saw trail mix, I didn’t want to unpack and then have to repack everything though)
On the cover of one of the coolers was a picture of fellow hiker Mojo (aka Akuna) who I’ve camped with a number of times. Apparently, he’s doing this hike to raise money for Alzheimer’s research (did not know that) and Wingmom is someone following the story and wanted to help. She also wrote all over the coolers what an inspiration all of us thru-hikers are to everyone. Seriously awesome trail magic.
With a few tons of sugar now coursing through my body I hiked up the last hill which had a view of the local airport. Someone was kind enough to place a chair there to enjoy the view.
I hiked down from the mountain and reached my access road, now I just needed to hitch a ride in to town.
The town was about 8 miles away and I only had to hike about half a mile before someone picked me up. The guy’s name was Ethan, late 20’s probably, and was on his way to work where he was about to lead a group of high school kids on a month long thru-hike of the Long Trail. I’ve had some pretty good luck with hitching so far I must say.
He dropped me off at a hotel in Rutland where I got a much needed shower and started my usual town routine.
I decided to retire my hiking shirt, a greenish T-shirt made by Smartwool that I bought cheap at an REI garage sale. The thing was so full of holes after hiking in it almost everyday for the past 3 months that I was barely wearing a shirt anymore. I found a cheap wicking shirt at a local K-Mart and that should hopefully take me to Katahdin.
It was also nice to get in touch with the world again since I haven’t had phone service the last few days. Maria is busy enjoying the company of her niece visiting from Argentina, which she has been looking forward to for over a year now. Hopefully they are having a wonderful time.