Trail Angels and River Crossings

Today was a magical day. 

We got rained on last night, packed our tents up wet and set out for New Hampshire. I’m traveling with Retainer and Romani these days.

 
As we left Vermont we saw some great mushrooms (thanks to the additional rain)

Indian pipe



We approached the White River (Norwich VT) 


Romani jumped off the bridge into the water, an AT tradition, which I opted out of.

After we crossed the bridge, we visited Linda’s (she’s a trail angel who hosted 1600 hikers last year)


She served us coffee , fruit, and eggs.

Then we mosied on down to Dan and Whit’s, s famous Norwich grocery store. Standing in the ice cream window line was Jodi Wenger – a physician colleague of mine from 15 years ago (Chinle). What a very small world!!!


Then we rolled into Hanover NH by crossing the Connecticut River


We ran into Hat Lady (a trail angel seen here with Romani)


She drove us to our hotel, to several stores, gave us advice on where to go and what to do, and kindly joined us for dinner. Then she drove 40 miles home. 

These trail Angels are among the most generous people I have ever met.

Now we’re at the sunset lodge in Lebanon NH, getting ready to explore Hanover tomorrow. I went to Dartmouth college here 40 years ago.

What a crazy day….


Vermont is going to be tough to beat,

Junco

More fungi and a frog

Last day in Vermont tomorrow. 

It’s been great mushroom weather and I found some fine ones




Also found some curious wood images


And a very interesting frog


Anybody know this very large tree?

This is the leaf of the very large tree above


And some nice views


Vermont is a fine place!

Junco

The Long Trail

The Long Trail is a 272 mile trail that runs north/south along the ridge of the Green Mountains in Vermont (from the Massachusetts border to Canada). 

From southern VT, the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail have been together (for 105 miles). This created quite a bit of foot traffic on the trail – north and southbound AT hikers and north and southbound Long Trail hikers.

Yesterday I passed this sign (which at the time I did NOT know was the place the AT separated from the Long Trail)

I accidentally followed the Long Trail for half a mile (it has identical white blazes ??!)

I celebrated my Long Trail trek with this beverage from the LongTrail brewing company

 

Yestetday, I also saw some strange figures in tree shapes


Back on the AT,

Junco

Keeping Dry

Walked into the Mountain Meadows Lodge minutes before a huge thunderstorm blew in:


This place is right on the AT. My room is in the white farmhouse on the right.

They delivered pizza, so I took advantage of that


Came down from Killington ski resort today – foggy and spooky


The spruces and balsam firs seem unhealthy here. Every forest in the northeast seems to have one or more species that are struggling.

However, the fungi were looking pretty good

This one is a bit traumatized, but very unusual



Lots of other remarkable things


Cool spider web

White birch bark is so fascinating


Looks like litter on the ground

Thanking my lucky stars that I stayed dry,

J

KillingtonĀ 

I’ll be slowly climbing this ski resort mountain today. Hot and sunny.

Today has been pleasant with lots of late blooming plants.

Please let me know if you recognize any of these

Jewel weed:



This one made my skin itchy(? Nettle)


Rutland VT


A few more


Gonna be a hot one, 

Junco

Back on the trail

Spent two restful days at the farm near Stratton mountain, VT with my sister, Janice, her husband, Dave, and their daughter, Sadie 


Because I had been bothered by deer flies, which tend to attack the back of your head, my neice, Sadie, designed a deterrent



Got back on the trail at the end of a 3 day period of rain

The forest was a bit soggy


Climbed to the top of the ski resort, Bromley.


It’s sunny today and looks nice for the next couple days.


Drying out,

J

New Boots

When I was in Damascus,VA (after 468 miles of hiking) I switched to these trail running Hokas (Challenger ATR 2’s)


Their cushioning, light weight, and breathability made my feet very happy. I beat them up pretty badly over the next 450 miles and laid them to rest today. Tread separation was a big problem – went through 4 tubes of Gorilla Glue to keep the tread on. The upper material also started to disintegrate recently. 

I decided to stick with Hokas and moved to the more durable (and colorful) “Speedgoats” 


Hoping they get me through to Katahdin!!

J

Ralphie and the farm

While hiking yesterday, I ran into my friend Ryan (trail name Ralphie from A Christmas Story) . We both started on March 11, but I had not seen him in months. Really nice to catch up


After passing over Stratton mountain yesterday,  I was met by the Coleman family, friends of my sister and her husband, who took me to this beautiful farm house, where I will spend the weekend. I was very impressed by the vehicle that Beth Coleman drove when we went to the grocery store this morning


The farm house, the barn, and the view to the northeast (from the side of the house)


This morning’s sunrise


From the trail yesterday:

Decaying wood is loved by some


A dragonfly


A garter snake 


A chipmunk


View from prospect rock of Manchester center 


A few others 


This farm life could work well for me.

Junco

Stratton Mountain

I’m on the summit now


The trail up was through spruce and fir forest




I know that’s a lot of photos – seems like there are so many new things here, like this frog


Hoping to meet my sister and her husband at a farm near here on Friday. Yay!!!

J