Days 125 & 126

Day 125

The morning started at 7:00 eating my last Pop Tart in my dewy tent. Key Lime and I packed up, and Tandem was inside the lodge with Jukebox, who had purchased a breakfast. After packing, I asked the owner of the Mountain View Lodge for access to their kitchen to wash my nasty Philmont Nalgene. He grabbed it and said that he would do it, then returned it clean and full of water.

I grabbed my Digipower battery, which had been charging outside all night, and settled on the porch stairs and charged my phone. I also downloaded the latest ten geocaching podcasts over the wi-fi. Tandem was ready to go by 8:45, so we were soon climbing the 1,300 feet up Quimby Mountain.

Once on top, we started hiking faster and hiked over several knobs. About six miles down the other side, we were passed by Jukebox. He’d had an issue with charging his speaker, so he was using his earbuds rather than playing podcasts out loud. He passed us, and we stopped for a snack and a beer.

Week-18_Day_125a.jpegThen we hiked on at a high pace while I led. We passed several SOBO hikers today, so the early June cloud is starting to pass us. We had lunch on a log after climbing a mountain prior to The Lookout cabin and tower. The climb included the second ladder of our hike.

A crew of three trail maintainers passed us, and we thanked them for their work. We reached The Lookout cabin and tower and hiked up to find a fantastic view from the top. Most of The VT thru hiker training group was also there. While Tandem relaxed on the tower, I went looking for a geocache that was last found in June, 2013. I did not find it either, and logged my DNF (did not find).

We caught up with Mio at mile 16 on the day. I hiked and chatted with him for the last several miles to the road VT 12. The VT section hiker training group was tenting there. We set up our tents and hammocks and went to hitch into Woodstock, VT, for dinner and food restocking. We were picked up by a woman scoping out where the AT crossed VT 12 since she has to pick up the thru hiking Cowan family tomorrow evening.

She took us into town, and we went to a convenience store for sandwiches, chips, and sodas. After dinner, Tandem found someone to drive us back to the trail. The driver was going to the grocery store, so we restocked there. We had to lay down in the back of their pickup truck in town since riding in the back of a pickup truck is against the law.

On the way back to the trail, we froze our butts off in the truck bed. They help manage a barn that hikers can stay in, so I decided to take them up on it. We packed up our gear and came back to move into the garage attic decorated with Christmas lights.

We set up our pads and sleeping bags, plugged in our devices and batteries, and packed our restock food. We were in bed by 22:00. Today was a 20 mile day.

 

Day 126

We woke on the dirty upstairs floor of the barn across the road from Daniel Quinn’s house. It was 8:00. We recalled Travis saying that there would be coffee at 7:00, so Tandem, Mio, and Jukebox headed down the small hole from the attic and over to the house while I packed.

Week-18_Day_126.jpegI joined them later and met Daniel. He and I talked about his history here. We also discussed Scouts and merit badges like Wilderness Survival and the retired MB Semaphores. I enjoyed talking with him, and we hit it off. We spent two hours in his kitchen drinking coffee and talking to those living there, and some SOBO hikers that came in.

We finally broke loose of the “commune atmosphere” and went back to the attic to pack. We hit the trail by 10:30 after saying goodbye. The climb from the road was tough. We rolled along, hiking separately, until we got to Cloudland Road and went to the Cloudland Farm Market. This is not a restock location. We ate our own food for lunch and had a pint of ice cream. I had vanilla.

We left after an hour and headed out on a fairly level section and then downhill to VT 14 and into West Hartford. We stopped at Hartford Sign, where Mio had to pick up one of his two packages. The one that arrived was his new coffee press, so he made coffee for the three of them.Week-18_Day_126a.jpeg

We left there at 17:15, and I made it the four miles to the Happy Hill shelter. On the way up Happy Hill, I passed a change in trees from young hardwoods to very majestic and tall Pines. It reminded me of the song The Trees by Rush.

I also passed a beautiful field of Black Eyed Susans that were worth a picture.

I arrived at the shelter and set up my tent quickly before it got dark. Tandem and I cooked our dinners by my tent. I listened and fell asleep to the last and most current geocacher podcast. I woke up at 23:00 pulled the earbuds from my ears and connected my iPhone to the DigiPower battery.

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