August 6th 2018
Happy Hill Shelter – Moose Mountain Shelter (mile 1759.9)
17 miles
Total miles: 1783.3


It was a difficult night. There were so many little creatures moving about in the forest all night long. I knew Jukebox wouldn’t have slept well as she hates the sound of the creatures. When I heard her mat deflate around 5:20am my thoughts were confirmed. I decided to get up too because I wasn’t going back to sleep. We packed up and Shred sat up in his tent just as we were about to leave and mentioned how loud we were. This is camping. Camping is loud!

We had 3 miles of trail to hike before coming out onto a road and hiking the remaining 3 miles to town on roads. We were on the trail just after 6am and while it was nice out, and I had forgotten what it was like to be nice and early on trail, it was terrible because I was the cobweb sweeper. There were cobwebs everywhere and they were sticking to my arms legs and face. 

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The trail was pretty and it was mostly downhill but I was glad to get to the road and wipe all the cobwebs off me. Elk road is an awesome road. There was a cooler with cold cokes in, then a bit later there was a cooler with banana bread and watermelon in and a bit further on was a sign saying hikers were welcome to swim in their pool. It was early, but I still grabbed a coke and unfortunately it was too early and too misty for a swim. 

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The road was full of enormous houses with external garage buildings which are all significantly bigger than my whole house. We occupied ourselves by looking at all the houses as we went by. We then joined a busy main road, past the town of Norwich and headed on into Hanover. 

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It was a long road walk on a surprisingly busy road. We crossed the bridges across the Connecticut river and found the state line marker in the middle of the bridge and we crossed into New Hampshire. 

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A not insignificant uphill took us into the town of Hanover. A really nice town. Dartmouth college (university?) is there so there is quite a young and vibrant feel about it. 

The trail walks past Lou’s bakery and they give a free doughnut to hikers so Jukebox and I went in to get our freebies and we moved on to the post office. I had two packages to pick up. One was my puffy and warm hat. That one cold night we had about a week ago made me panic and get my puffy sent back to me. Since that night it has been really warm, and last night was too hot to have my sleeping bag on me. But we are going up high and I am sure I will be glad to have it then, even if today is hotter than hot and I don’t want it anywhere near me. My friend had included some money and some treats which was really nice of her! 

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This was delicious!

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The second package I picked up was trail magic and a man called David who follows my blog sent me a box of British goodies. It was a great package containing some of my favourite things, and some things I had never come across before – Guinness crisps? They sound…interesting. There was only one thing in there I didn’t like and that was Turkish delight, but it didn’t go to waste, I gave it to my friends and I’m not sure they were keen but they ate it. My dad loves Turkish delight but I think it’s an acquired taste. 

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Shred caught up to us and we went to a restaurant called the skinny pancake for some food. They serve sweet and savoury filled crepes and I chose one filled with chicken, roasted peppers, caramelised onions and pesto. It was pretty good. I felt exceptionally full after eating that and the doughnut. We were able to charge our phones and use the WiFi. 

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We moved on to the CVS store to buy resupply. I had a lot leftover from last resupply and with all the added treats I didn’t need to buy anything. I will be just surviving the next few days on sweets and chocolate! I brought some more Aleve to see me through the rest of the trail. I looked for a Gatorade to pack out but I didn’t see any, apparently there was a whole wall of them that I missed. So I got a chocolate milk instead. 

We sat outside the store and sorted out our food. Jukebox had been back to the post office to collect her package and she was offloading some of her food onto us. Lots of people came over and spoke to us and were surprised we were hiking in this heat. It was exceptionally hot today. Especially sat outside this store surrounded by tarmac and concrete. We were in a little heat trap. One woman said, well you’ll either make it or you’ll die. Thanks lady! 

Before hiking out we decided to go a Ramuntos pizza place as they give a free slice of pizza to hikers. I got a slice of mushroom pizza and he pulled apart all the slices, found the biggest one and gave that to me. I didn’t need that piece of pizza, the level of my food was now up to the top of my throat. Not good for hiking. They let us fill up our water bottles and we went on our way. We had planned to do another 17 miles out of town and it was now past 12pm. With the heat and the climbs ahead it was going to be a push. 

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We got stopped a few more times as people wanted to chat to us about the trail. We were going to nero here, but changed our plans based on the fact that Rutland had better movies and therefore it’s a better town, but Hanover would have been a really nice place to stay. 

There was a bit of conflict as we hiked out of town. Shred wanted to go to the art museum. The rest of us weren’t that bothered. I would have gone but if we had done that I wouldn’t have hiked 17 miles out of town. Shred and Peaches decided to go. Jukebox and I decided to hike on. As it was now 12:30pm the heat was just too much, it was 90°F on the forecast with a feels like temperature of 93°F, we discussed not going so far and stopping at a shelter which was 11 miles away. Hopefully we could get there by 6 and we would have time to kick back and relax which we don’t usually have time to do. 

The climb began straight away as it always does when we head out of a town. The forest was beautiful and the first climb was steep in places but not too bad. I just chugged my way along. I was trying not to overheat and I was just steadily chipping away at the climb. I got up to the top and I was a sweaty mess but it wasn’t as bad a climb as I had expected. The trail goes down and along for a bit and in that time Shred and Peaches caught up to me (the art museum was closed). I could hear them behind me for a while and it sounded like Shred was shouting on a phone call but he was having a conversation with Peaches. I moved aside to let them pass. 

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I continued my plod forwards and eventually caught up to peaches who was taking a break. We hiked together for a while and chatted. She had to slow her pace so I could keep up. The last climb of the day was gradual at first, then the trail came out onto a field and it was so hot. Peaches said something about people moaning about the green tunnel, and I said I love the green tunnel. I couldn’t wait to get back in it. I hate being in the direct sun and just crave the shelter of the trees. I love the green tunnel. 

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At the trail began to climb more steeply Peaches pulled ahead and it was tough and slow going on the first half of the mountain. It levelled out a bit and still climbed but not so steeply. I caught up with her again when she stopped to adjust her shoe. We made it to the top of the mountain and Peaches was completely soaked with sweat. I had a lot of sweat pouring out of my face but my body wasn’t sweaty at all. She had beads of sweat on her arms and it rolled down her. My arms were dry and only my face and neck had sweat on! I wish I would sweat more, then I probably would be so prone to overheating and passing out as a result. 

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The best sign for a shelter on the trail

It was mostly downhill to get to the shelter and when we got there we found a man we hadn’t met before there and a load of tubs of single serving peanut butter and the man said someone left them there because he didn’t want to carry them, so he left some bars he didn’t want because he was carrying too much food. This is not appropriate behaviour! You want to encourage bears and mice, that’s how you do it. People are stupid. 

We moved on just beyond the shelter where there are some tent sites. No sign of Jukebox and Shred. It seems that they have carried on the the next shelter 5.5 miles away up a big climb and down the other side. I was surprised. Jukebox said she would stop here and was looking forward to getting to camp early. And Shred said he would stop here and then carry on because he is on his own plan for the next few days. 

Maybe Jukebox had decided that she wants to hike bigger miles with him after all. 105 days hiking together then going off on your own for the last 5 days of your trip to meet an arbitrary goal seems a little odd to me but then everyone is different and everyone has their own things that are important to them. I didn’t have any service but Peaches managed to get through on the text message. 

There had just been some miscommunication I think and we will try and meet back up with Jukebox tomorrow. So it’s just me and Peaches at camp tonight. We arrived at 5:30pm and it was nice to have some time to sit outside and eat and chat rather than getting straight into our tents. 

I sat for ages. Just sat and did nothing. I tried to find something to eat in my food bag but I’m only carrying junk food. So I ate some goldfish. Some biscuits. And some jelly snakes. 

I was in the tent early but I am still up late writing this! 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 90

 

 


 

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