Singing in the Rain – 17 July

We walked through friendly forests this morning, I felt happy after sleeping well on the Cookie-Lady’s thick lawn. I did not feel strong though. Yesterday was a long distance day and we walked hard to arrive at the farm early enough to enjoy the late afternoon, I probably depleted my energy levels.

We were looking forward to the day though – today the trail would take us through 2 towns, Dalton and Cheshire.

We got to Dalton around 11am, in time for an early lunch. We stopped at Angelina’s Subs and each had a 12 inch (that’s BIG) sandwich roll. A lovely little shop established in the 50’s with locals streaming in to place their orders.

After that, and an ice cream sandwich from the gas station for desert, I felt stronger. We head back to the trail and not long after setting out a light drizzle started. We were expecting this as the weather forecast predicted rain for the afternoon. We have walked in some high temperatures and the cooling effect of the soft rain was welcome. We have also experienced the difficulty of getting water when many streams have run dry, again, reason not to complain about the rain. We were childishly belting out “I’m singing in the Rain” as we walked along.

Untill we had only 3km to go to Cheshire… We were already on the section of trail descending quite steeply into town, and suddenly the rain became fierce. Within 5mins we weren’t only wet, we were soaked to the bone. The trail had water running down it turning it into a stream instead of a foot path. You can only get that wet, then you become a body walking. And at least getting soaked like this gives the body and clothes a type of a rinse.

As we exited the forest and walked into town (before 5pm and having done 30km) the rain lifted. The town has hardly any retail, but it does have a Dollar General (good place for hiker shopping) and a Shell gas station with convenience store and Dunkin Donut.

The plan was to get here, do the re-supply top up shopping (Mathilda phoned them yesterday to get trading hours, they stay open untill 9pm), stay in town (the St Mary of the Assumption Church allows hikers to tent next to their Parish Hall and have an outdoor plug for charging your electronic devices) and head out again tomorrow normal time.

We will probably stop for a coffee and donut at the Dunkin Donut on our way out, but other than a 30min delay we won’t have lost any time on this re-supply.

We found the church, pitched our tent, changed into dry clothes, and set off to get to the Shell (next to the Dollar General). One other hiker has arrived and we agreed that he will wait untill we are back before he would go shopping, so that somebody is here if the church people arrived to get our names or check that we are indeed hikers.

We had Dunkin Donut coffee and a muffin for dinner (those subs this afternoon was our main meal of the day) and Trevor walked back to the church while I went food shopping. As always after shopping I feel panicky about the weight we will have to carry tomorrow. When I spread the purchases out on the picnic table in the camping area, I wonder how it is possible that we can eat all of this food in 5 days!

When I got back to the church there were loads of people (maybe 15) hanging around, the hall is being used for AA meetings on a Wednesday evening. We had celebrity status, everybody came to say hello and asked about our hike. During their coffee/smoke break they called us in to get some coffee.

We had long conversations with 3 guys. The one, can you believe, lives within a few hundred meters of the Cookie-Lady. Another looked like a nice, but not that highly educated guy, never judge a book by its cover…..he recited two beautiful Robert Frost poems fitting in with a story he was telling us. The third guy cornered me when I went to get coffee, told me about the day he and his wife climbed up (and down) Mt Washington (you are going to hear me talk about that in a few weeks’ time) and some peaks in Norway.

While it was still light we sat outside – to the east was a rainbow and to the west a sky on fire – my happiness level equalled my joy level.

Lying in our tent now I hear a light drizzle. It’s not going to be great to put on our wet clothes tomorrow morning but on the bright side – with the rain forecast being what it is we will be walking in the rain anyway so doesn’t really matter that much whether you start with wet or dry clothes.


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