Planning and People – 8 July

Out with the old, in with the new. My toes have been set free. The new shoes were wonderful!

We had to decide our next charge/laundry/re-fuel stop, and book the motel for it, so that Trevor can have his ordered shoes delivered there. We are going to sleep in Great Barrington on Sunday night, so we have 6 nights camping before next bed night. Most we have done before was 5 nights in a row…. 😬

We had a 6am coffee and donut breakfast from The Bagel Cafe this morning and at 7am sharp Grandpa was ready to take us to the trail head.

I disliked him initially but ended up enjoying him. He talks a LOT, that is why he is perfect as a host at a boutique motel (his son is the owner). He loves having company – as soon as any of the guests came out of their units Grandpa popped out of his house for a chat. The main reason I think about him fondly now is that he is so proud of having – in spite of having been a manual labourer and then a truck driver and along the way having had his house repossessed – raised two children who are successful and affluent and “better off in life” as he is. And he is proudly saving (in spite of his children being well-off) for his grandchildren’s education. He does the laundry for the hikers – he charges $10 (that’s a lot compared to what other charges) but he brings out the bottle with cash and show you where your money is going and he is proud that he is doing that for the grandchildren. Nice guy….

We took forever to walk over the Bear Mountain Bridge as we couldn’t stop looking at the scenes of the Hudson.

After walking for approximately 10km, we were at the Appalachian Trail Deli – open 24/7 and a wonderful stop which we didn’t get the full benefit from as we were well fed after yesterday’s Zero. We half-heartedly shared a sandwich for an early lunch, wishing we were hungrier to do justice to the range of options available. I have been walking with a big thirst so for once I was happier than Trevor to get a coolie.

While we were there Hiker X (who we met earlier today when we overtook him) arrived. He (like Grandpa) talks non-stop, but he is one of those people who just assume you hold the same views as him. He didn’t like the people working in the store as they are Equadorians and they can’t understand him (neither can I: he talks with a big twang) and he can’t understand them as they can’t speak English (I could understand them). If he wins the lotto he will come to hunt in South Africa and he doesn’t understand why some people are against it as it is a win-win situation, the hunter wins as he gets the trophy, the village wins (village?) as they get the money: everybody wins (apart from the hunted animal your stupid man!!!). I wasn’t rude but I just said to him I can assure him very little if any of the hunting money will end up enriching or uplifting poor villages. I then excused myself to go to the loo and left Trevor to end the conversation with this person. A non-nice guy: everything about him is negative and angry and critical of others…

Going to the toilet was an experience by itself. Big and spacious toilet: with a huge flatscreen TV mounted to the one wall, and it was switched on. Odd, more odd, most odd!

After this we had a quiet day of plodding on. Got trail magic from Physics – he finished his thru-hike on 1 July this year. One week off the trail and already coming back! He said he received such a lot that he is keen to give back. I understand that as I feel the same. But I think there is another driver, think he has withdrawal symptoms: he forgot how to be a person NOT on the trail…..

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4 thoughts on “Planning and People – 8 July

  1. Beautiful! Still loving your stories and your frankness!
    What do you do with your old boots? They’ve been your frenemies for many, many miles. 🥾

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ria. Keep the blog coming. Enjoying it as much as ever. Janet and I need to come and get our photo taken by the Hudson river one day. Looks a good spot to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

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