Mile: 1727.1 - 1747.7
It's grey and humid when I wake up but there's no use in just sitting around, there are lots of exciting things today. The trail passes through three town today and officially into New Hampshire all within the next 20 miles.
The trail cools down a bit and it's all up down, roll the ridge line and repeat. The climbs seem to be anywhere from 50 to 800 feet but the tread is great and a lot of mini exposed sections on top have ripe blackberries and even tastier raspberries.
About 10 miles into the day is the town of West Hartford which you enter by crossing a large river. I was told it's tradition for hikers to jump off the bridge and to look for the house with the AT symbol on the garage for some special unlisted Trail Angels.
I listened, Linda is great and offered the slowly growing group of hikers fresh scrambled eggs from her chickens, hot coffee, soda and fruit. Plus we were told where it was safe to jump and that's it legal and everything. Apparently the cops get a kick out of watching and most grew up doing it themselves. I kill 3 hours finally jumping the 30 feet into the river and enjoying the heck out of it.
It's apparently more adrenaline filled than I realize because I walk a solid 5 minutes before realizing I've left my trekking poles. At least I figured it out before I got too far.
More climbing and ridges, more hikers too but overall it's nice forest all the way down to the paved road into Norwich. This is the last town in Vermont on the trail and has created a list of Trail Angels who help hikers out with places to stay because Norwich and Hanover are so expensive. Which is a great idea but no one has space so camping it will be.
I pass on stopping in Norwich and continue on the lovely road walk into Hanover. It's 2.5 miles through the two towns and the number of people grow as I go. I cross another river officially entering New Hampshire.
This place is crowded! It's tiny and posh and officially home to Dartmouth College. It's full of Bernie Sanders signs, unlocked bicycles and overwhelmingly large groups of people. I duck into a low key Thai place and am happy as can be. The trail heads straight through town entering the woods right past the coop. I grab a little more food and find myself with 2 other hikers who have nowhere to stay. Apparently it's okay to camp in the woods right behind the fields and we find 3 more tents there so it's a funny little gathering. I'm heading back for breakfast then towards the hikers welcome hostel 45 miles away before I get to buckle down and face the whites.
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