Saturday, September 8, 2012

Journal: Two(ish) Days to Hanover

No, that's not the title of an Alistair MacLean novel. In Lincoln I intended to zero and take a rest day. But the day was so nice and I finished my chores so early that I couldn't sit still. At 3 PM I called for a shuttle to the trailhead and by 4:30 I arrived. Surprise, surprise, Dogger, another SOBO, was taking the shuttle back to town having almost caught the three of us (Old School, Piper, and I).

Mount Moosilauke was the first test, but fortunately I had pumpkin and banana bread from Rock Dancer to fortify me. And it was only 1.6 miles on a short day. I only left town because it was too nice of a day to take a zero. Old School and Piper - my companions through the Whites - left earlier in the day because they had to reach Hanover's post office 54 miles away before it closed on Saturday.

The next day, Thursday, I intended to do an easy 15-18 miles. I had been forewarned that the Intentional Community I wanted to visit was not worth the hike so I had no specific destination in mind. As the day wore on to noon I found out how easy hiking is after the Whites. So I just kept hiking, faster, and faster, for the pure joy of moving quickly. At the end of the day I reached a novel shelter constructed in a hexagon - 23 miles for the day. And that was without trying.

For Friday, I wanted to see sunrise from the fire tower 5 miles away. I left at 3:50 AM and arrived for sunrise right on time. And who should I bump into but Old School and Piper? I had caught up. Just for the heck of it I decided to try for my longest day yet - 28 miles and arrive Friday night too. (Piper hiked 28 miles on Thursday starting from the same shelter on Moosilauke as I.) Along the way were a couple stops including Bill Ackerly's home where he gave everyone ice cream bars. Over 960 hikers have passed through his house so far this year.

My tendons feel pretty much healed and gave me very little trouble even on such a long hike. Chafing was another story. But all is well, a shower and laundry and FOOD (who knew that 54 miles takes the same amount of food whether you do it in 2 days or 3?) remedy just about everything.

The folks in Hanover are the friendliest I've encountered - and that's saying a lot. Free pizza, free Snickers, and good conversation have been the staples here.

Now I sit in Hanover's lovely public library waiting out a tornado warning. I also picked up three new books - I'm now carrying 7. Free books and cheap books are very dangerous to my backpack's weight. I picked up a used copy of Mark Twain's "Roughing It" in Lincoln and three more books here from the Library's discards.

I'm getting hungry so it's time to eat some grub, hopefully with vegetables and fruit!

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