Thursday, July 26, 2007

Next to last state

Hello from Glencliff, New Hampshire. Thats right I am in to the next to last state of my journey. Fortunately, the upcoming terrain is bound to make this one last a bit longer. Tomorrow morning I have to climb about 3500 up the side of Mt. Moosilauke. The following 250 or so miles are going to be similar. Fortunately, the views should be worth it. Enough about that though, its time to talk about the past week.
To say that the day I left Killington was beautiful would be such an understatement as to be almost criminal. The sky was bright blue and there were enormous puffy white clouds all over. The temperature was perfect too. It was probably 75 degrees and it stayed that way the whole day. All of this was made better by the fact that I left from a wonderful breakfast with my Mom's friend Ellen Wallace Buchanan. It was really great to see her and have a chance to talk.
Also that day I started to see my first South Bound hikers. From Surge who I met just outside of town to the three exceedingly inconsiderate folks I camped with that night. I had been planning on going 16 or so miles to a shelter to stop for the night. Fortunately for me I decided to check out an overlook that was .2 miles off the trail and discovered a usable cabin that I didn't even know existed. The view was completely unreal. There was a fantastic sunset and a sunrise that was just as good. I also got some great stars when I got up to pee in the middle of the night. I must admit I was somewhat put out with my bunkmates however. They seemed really cool at first, but then they decided to cook dinner pretty late and very loudly inside the cabin while another hiker was trying to sleep. They then decided to all get up around 3 in the morning to look at stars (making lots of noise in the process) and instead of coming back in and going back to sleep they built a fire with much breaking of twigs. It was as though they didn't realize there were people trying to sleep in the same building. Even with that thought, it was an awesome place to spend the night.
The next day was fairly lame. All of the terrain was fairly boring and it was hot. In truth the only unusual thing that happened (and granted it was fairly unusual) was coming across the a south bound female hiker named Rambo sunbathing without a stitch of clothing in the MIDDLE of the trail. I can't say I really have an idea what she looks like since I exchanged pleasantries with my eyes averted. That night there was a large camp group at the shelter so I ended up camped with Green Hornet and Michael instead.
I rolled through Hanover the next day, hoping to meet back up with Mystery Chicken who I had bid goodbye back in Killington. I was going to do what business I had in town and then head on out for another ten miles. However, the new Harry Potter and my desire to see if Chicken would show up said otherwise. Thus after a couple of hundred pages and several wasted hours later I went only a mile out of town to the Velvet Rocks Shelter with Green Hornet, Gator Girl, and Walking Cowboy. Still no sign of Chicken.
Due to the fact that no one was able to find the water at the shelter I left without liquid in the morning. As a result my mornings walk mostly focused on me thinking about finding a drink. I was unable to find one until two miles before I was going to stop for lunch, which totaled about seven dry miles. I was a bit thirsty. That night I stopped at Trapper John. I started out the night in the shelter but the mosquitoes quickly convinced my tent was a far superior option.
The next day was pretty tough. I had two big climbs over Smarts Mtn. and Mt. Cube. Actually, only Smarts was all that bad. I also took a really long lunch break in which I ate two days worth of lunch; a mistake I have made before. It always makes me feel kind of sluggish when I do that. You'd think I'd have figured that out by now. Anyway, the mosquitoes were so bad heading to the shelter that evening I wasn't even going to bother with the shelter, but then there were no available tent sites so I ended up putting the tent in the shelter. It was definitely a first.
This morning I only had a few miles to go which I tried to stretch out for as long as possible by getting lost for about an hour after about two miles. Go me and my amazing sense of direction. Since arriving at the totally awesome Hiker's Welcome Hostel here in Glencliff I've been mostly eating and watching movies. It's been pretty great. I also sent home my warm weather sleeping bag. Since it's hot as blazes right now I have a feeling I have a few sweaty nights ahead of me. If the weather turns though I'll be glad to have it. I'm leaving pics of me and Chicken in the Bar at the Long Trail Inn and one of the sunset views from the cabin I stayed at coming out of Killington.

Good Evening,
The Breadless Horseman


Anonymous said...

Great pics! Did you actually get to finish Harry Potter? I did my usual one sitting-until the wee hours read. I look forward to discussing it with you when you come off the trail. Take care!
Love, Sarah

The Yorkshire Pudding said...

Hi Breadless

Wow you're far ahead! Iguess it's because you're not carrying any gluten :-)

Don't think I'll catch you before Lady K so have a good trip up. contact me thru my web site so we can exchange pics


Anonymous said...

Hey Gordon,

Caught up on your trip this afternoon - WOW! Sounds like you are having a great time and meeting some interesting folks. I am of course jealous of your trail adventures. As I get older and retirement enters my mind (and my second childhood, probably), I'm hoping if the old knees and other parts hold up I can enjoy some experiences like yours. Shredder (Pete) told me the motto is 'hike your own hike', and it sounds like you are!

Jack is in New York City and PA this week. He broke his foot 7/24, so is on crutches in the big apple.

Best of luck on the rest of your trip - Shredder's pics from Maine were incredible - hope you find it so!

Tom Dunlap

Anonymous said...

Just talked with the folks at Think Thin. They are going to "kick in" some boxes of Think Thin and Think Green bars to take you to Katahdin, and I am working on some chicken jambalaya to give you some variety in your diet for these last weeks. I am thinking about you daily as you approach the end of this odyssey. Love, MOM

RobynFrance said...

Hi Gordon--we had dinner with your folks last night (and what a fab dinner it was) and heard quite a bit about your journey--what a magnificent trip and commitment. So I wanted to catch up on your blog--love the photo from Killington--if I have a little time I may try a quick painting of it--those colors are yummy.

Have a great finish and enjoy the time with the family at the end. Even those u don't know (Robyn and Al Mixon) are pulling for you and so thrilled with your major accomplishment.

Take care,

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Anonymous said...

Hey again, Gord. I can't believe how close to the end of the trail you are and I'm so proud! I also can't wait to see you at Faire. It's going to be great to have you and Mom and Dad come - I know y'all are going to have a blast. In fact, you shouldn't cut your hair or shave till after you come because you'll fit right in with the general public- plus, I've told all my friends in the cast and fellow Wenches to be on the lookout for my 6'4" Viking brother when he comes. At any rate, just wanted to day that I'm thinking about you as you get near to the end of your trek. Hold Fast!