Got up early this morning, had 2 great cups of coffee (not sure how it got made as Jenny wasnt up but when we went down the coffee was brewed, it must have been on a timer) and walked around the church’s garden, eating blackberries, blueberries and rasberries from the garden.
Spending some quiet time in the church:
Trevor was very thirsty so we walked to the convenience store (Dan&Whits) to get a soda (that is a cold drink, it is troublesome to always have to consider what term to use depending on audience so will now just refer to sodas okay?) – I had a breakfast sandwich polished off by a caramel glazed donut twister. Maybe thats why I am not losing weight 😀…Trevor had only the soda.
This is an amazing little shop, it has a sign which says “If we dont have it you dont need it” and that is true, they have from books and maps, to hardware, to food, sweets, sodas, beer&wine, some clothes, a meat section, a bakery section, a deli section – all within probably 250sqm!
We sat on a bench outside next to an old painted piano and I had my breakfast. One of the locals started chatting to us, then called another local (Demos) over to meet us – Demos is retired and a fanatic blogger (he showed me his homepage: 132thousand views!) so asked if he could do a story on us. By now we were running out of time to get back to Jenny as she had to leave for a meeting so we told Demos we unfortunately didnt have much more time to chat: the end of us becoming characters to his story – so close to fame!!!
Had a last chat to Jenny and then grabbed our backpacks and walked over to …. Hanover: at long last. In New Hampshire now, the sign indicates the border between Vermont and New Hampshire:
We went to our home for the night and met Judy, our hostess. An attractive, incredibly in-shape older woman who was busy mowing the lawn when we arrived. She is just back from walking Tour de Mont Blanc – two of my best friends flew out of SA yesterday to go and do just that. I told Judy that, and added that as part of their trip they are also going to do the Northern Spain Camino: Judy is planning on doing that next year!
We walked to the town centre to catch a bus to the adjacent town (we needed some stuff from the outfitter and Hanover’s outfitter closed down, says Amazone killed his business). Just as we arrived Nav&company got off a bus, they had a Nero yesterday and are heading back to the trail. She hugged me goodbye: she clearly thinks they wont be seeing the old folk again but I have learnt how the trail can surprise you so maybe she is wrong.
The bus transit system runs between a few towns in the area (for free). There were 2 outfitters in the same centre in West Lebanon, between the 2 we got everything we needed: new water bottles for me, new tips for our hiking sticks, a new pair of hiking pants for Trevor and two dry bags.
As there were several supermarkets in the area we also did our food shopping for the next few days. We then bussed back to Hanover and went to the post office to pick up out warm sleeping bags which Iceman mailed over (they are heavy and bulky!)
We walked back to Judy’s, packed our summer sleeping bags in one of the bear cannisters, walked back to the post office to mail that to Mathilda to add to the stash of our stuff filling up her and Bob’s garage.
Yes, the bear cannisters are going. Trevor wants to take one home to SA and the other one we dumped in a hiker’s box – maybe a SOBO would want it. Facing the Whites with the extra weight of our warm sleeping bags we try to offset some of the gain by letting the cannisters go. Ron (past president of the ATC) told us (when we met him in the Shenandoah) that in New Hampshire and Maine you dont need the cannisters: there aren’t bears …. a lot of people we mentioned this to shook their heads but, as most other hikers, Trevor will have to learn to hang our food bags in a tree at night!
We had a beer and a pizza, then an Italian Gelato and headed back to Judy’s lovely house. We have a room, bathroom and living area in the basement and the house is located quite close to downtown, in a way it would have been so nice to spend both our nights here. And I really enjoyed chatting to her. On the other hand, if we did that we would have missed out on meeting Jenny and the Norwich experience, so actually all worked out for the best.
Tomorrow we start heading towards the Whites. We will probably face our first mountain in the Whites by Sunday. 😬