This is our theme song when we leave town after a night in civilisation. We left Judy’s at 6h30, sung our way down the road, had a Starbucks coffee, walked the part of the trail running through town, seeing this in front of an art centre:
Hanover is home to Dartmouth, an Ivy League college, and a lovely town with a university feel. We enjoyed our stay here.
The Co-op (a grocery store) is next to the trail just before it exits the town. We bought a breakfast roll from there, ate it at their coffee shop tables and was ready to face the mountains again.
We had a good day of walking. We did 27km and ascended 1400m, including two decent climbs which we thought would be tougher than it was.
We have just spent the last hour looking at our maps and guide book and are both a bit down after the exercise. I have mentioned the White Mountains before – it is apparently the biggest challenge on the AT. We are now heading there and will probably climb our first peak on Sunday. Three things make the Whites challenging: (1) It’s very demanding terrain with many over 1300m peaks meaning daily mileage drops quite a lot. (2) Camping is complex, even if you can do a bit of a longer distance the availability of camp sites may force you to stop earlier. The terrain is too difficult to just push on to a next site – there may be a peak between the two shelters! (3) The re-supply opportunities seem to be less frequent and because you walk shorter distances per day you need to re-supply more often for every X km covered than when you walk longer distances (if you do 33km a day you need only 3 days food for 100km but if you do 15km a day you need 7 days food for 100km, you can carry 3 days food but you cannot carry 7 days food so you will need a re-supply). But we don’t see where you will be able to re-supply – the towns seem far apart.
Anyway – lots of people are doing this so we will ask around a bit and see what people are doing. I have always said to Trevor he is way too optimistic with our target completion dates as we don’t know how much we will have to slow down in the Whites – it now seems we will slow down even more than I thought; time will tell.
Just when you think you are an old hand at this, you get to New Hampshire and you suddenly feel like a novice again 😀