Day 107: Thistle Hill to Etna, NH

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So what state has the motto "Live free or die.?" If you guessed New Hampshire you'd be correct, and that's also my new current location! Crossed the Connecticut River at midday and celebrated entering my 13th state. Just one more state line to cross. We all know which state that'll be.

Woke up this morning to a deer or moose snorting and trampling outside in the woods, but in my mid-morning daze I didn't have the desire to go check it out. Ah well. I was ecstatic over the fact that it didn't rain overnight and things looked DRY. Barely know the meaning of that word anymore.  Of course as soon as I started hiking, a couple of grassy fields took care of my dryish shoes. There's something special about hiking in soaking wet shoes and socks for nearly a week straight.

Along the hike down into West Hartford, VT I take a pretty majestic fall. I was going downhill rather fast and caught a shoe on a root and my feet lagged behind my body leaving me literally just supported by my hiking poles. This situation was not sustainable (much like our addiction to fossil fuels, BAM didn't see that one coming did ya?) and I slammed my face into the ground well downhill with my pack landing on the back of my head. I took an immediate break for five. It seems the longer I hike the more falls I've been having. Back when I was a newbie I never fell but now it's about once a day. This better not happen in the Whites too or I'll be down in a heap at the bottom of a cliff. Goodness.

Mid-morning I arrive in West Hartford VT where there is a little convenience store RIGHT ON the trail. Needless to say I stopped in for a second breakfast. Delicious.  Crossed the White River and then a couple hours later I arrive in Norwich, VT. Hiking down past some houses a nice family had put out a cooler of trail magic: watermelon, banana bread, and chocolate. Lovely, much thanks to the "Brains." their son was once a thru hiker, I'm sure he is influential in getting them to do that. In this same spot I met "Red" Matt who was from East Lansing, MI. It was his first day on the trail.

Then it was time to get outta VT and cross the Connecticut!  Motorists must have thought it a bit odd to see me taking pictures of the bridge (or maybe that I was a terrorist) and then literally yelling and throwing up my arms when I crossed the line. (also shouting rude things about VT, amongst them, that their ice cream is overrated... GASP!!)
Hanover NH is home to Dartmouth College and hikers are allowed to use the Internet and hang out in Robinson Hall. I take advantage and then eat my lunch on the "Green". This very much reminds me of my time at Kalamazoo College, except honestly K's campus is somewhat more attractive. Our quad area being covered by trees is a really nice feature that no other schools seem to use...despite how old their buildings are. I might be biased on this subject though.

One thing that wasn't in doubt was the presence of many very attractive young women. Since I haven't seen a female thruhiker since PA, you can imagine this was a bit of a jolt.
Picked up the other segment of my trekking pole at the outiftter (thanks Leki!) and got a free slice of pizza at the local pizzeria :) before hiking on.

The first hill out of town (especially after resupply) was tough but the next 4 or so were easy. I was picked up at the road crossing to head to "Tiggers Treehouse" a neat little donations only hostel. Really nice cool people with a bunch of rambunctious dogs running around! I watch TV, shower, do laundry, play some piano, and eat ice cream until bedtime. Somehow in town the late hours come so fast, thanks to the presence of electricity. It'll be hard to hit the trail in the morning and get up that first mountain.

Anyhow it was a real rush to hit the state line. I wasn't the biggest fan of VT and ready for a change in pace. The mtns here will slow me down a lot, which is probably good since I haven't done under 20 in a long time.
Thanks for all the wonderful comments and words of encouragement. I hope you all know how helpful they are. Sometimes while hiking I think of all the people out there that are rooting for me. The positive energy gets me through the rough times (ie when my feet are going squish squish squish)
Take care
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uncle marko on

Hey Rob, we have crossed a few state lines and are vacationing in southern Missouri, in the foothills of the Ozark mtns. . Having a great time but haven't caught any fish yet. I think Mac is having the best time of all! I remember having squishy shoes when we used to play golf at Kensington at 6 a.m.. I would be home sleeping on the couch by 11 though so it's really not the same thing. Anyway, keep on trucking!

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