Tenting to Moose Mountain Shelter – 31.0 miles – New Hampshire!
I’m already cranking by 5 AM. I have to get a move on to Hanover, NH Post Office and cover 10 miles out of town. I am absolutely cruising into New Hampshire.
After crossing the White River in Vermont, I walk the street through town, and I pass an old man loading his truck in his driveway. He asks me where I started.
Man: You’re the first thru hiker I’ve seen this year.
I cross the street to talk to him.
Man: Where you from, Baltimore?
Me: No, western Maryland.
Man: What do you do for work?
Me: I’m a civil engineer.
Man: Are you a track man?
Me: I used to be.
Man: You look it. You still run?
Me: Yeah, more distance though.
Me: Yeah and some ultras.
Man: [chuckles] Man, you can’t hide. Man, how many days you been out?
Man: Going for a record?
Man: How many miles you doing?
Me: About 30.
Man: [chuckles] Man, you’re an animal!
He says good luck, we shake hands, and I’m off again. I really want to ask him for a cold soda, but I don’t. I also could have talked to him a lot longer. He’s a very nice, knowledgeable, old guy; reminds me of Granddad.
Nearing the end of Vermont, the trail dumps onto a road and about five minutes down the mountain I spot a mailbox with a small cooler beside it. I need (hoping) something cold. And there’s watermelon inside. I take a moment to down three slices and then keep trucking downhill.
It’s another gorgeous day, but now, out on the unshaded road and sidewalk, I really notice the heat. The road leads into Norwich, VT, a quaint little town, with awesome, well-maintained, 100-year old houses. It’s a long, hot, 90-degree, road walk to Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.
I pass the VT-NH state line on the bridge crossing the Connecticut River at 12:45 PM and I’m at the Post Office by 1 PM. This Ivy League school town is nice; it feels like Georgetown. The trail goes right through town.
After getting my resupply organized on the floor of the air conditioned Post Office lobby, I walk a few blocks to Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizzaria where AT hiker’s get a free slice. I buy two more slices and a soda (multiple refills of root beer, of course). I talk to Lindsay as I eat.
After eating, I hit the street and once again my pack is crazy heavy with a six-day resupply. After back in the forest, the five-mile climb to the shelter is quite uncomfortable and takes two hours, 5-7 PM. With this heavy pack, the coming days are going to be tough.
Great, cold watermelon trail magic before leaving Vermont.
New Hampshire! Two states to go!
Road walk to Hanover, NH