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2020-09-30 at 09:20 #8011Udar GromovKeymaster
06:50 – wake up in Boston without an alarm
Weather will be great. All work is on hold. It should be a great trip.
07:36 – +20°C – depart from Boston
09:39 – ODO 131.4 +18.5°C – arrive to 3 Mile Rd in Hanover, NH. Bug already disappeared, but weather is still warm and dry. Very nice.
10:15 Very eventful start: while hiding the bike in the forest, I also devour my breakfast from home (kasha), doing French lessons, thinking about my next chess move and completing other unfinished business.
11:07 – finally ready to depart to hike starting point in VT
11:48 – I am on the other end of the trail – near Woodstock, VT.
Hiking sector 1 – 12:14 – 14:00 = 1:47 2.92 mi (1.8 mph) – from Joe Ranger Rd. to Relax and Enjoy bench
12:17 – ready to start the hike after final preparation in the car. This time no gloves, 2 thin windbreakers and underpants for cold nights
12:24 a picture on iPhone taken in appreciation of surrounding forest and weather. Tall graceful tree trunks, plush leaves, plenty of light reached the forest floor.
Couple more times trail crosses sunny meadows – a feature noticed last trip here.
Signal is good in this section. I hear from Lira that she encountered a virus message from an old SQL backup files, and together we deleted the whole directory. “No more threats are detected” after a scan.
13:56 – 14:50 – 3 mi done – 5 mi to go. A lengthy first stop by “Relax and Enjoy” bench on top of open hill with a view. I have 4-5 more daytime hours before sunset at 19:19. There are no hordes of hikers here. I have met 3 parties or 4 people. Soon I will be crossing a major highway – route 89 that goes from NH to Canada via Vermont.
Hiking sector 2 – 14:47 – 17:32 = 2:45 5.56 mi (2.0 mph) – from Enjoy and Relax bench to Happy Hill Shelter via West Hartford and route 89.
15:17 – I am at crossing of Quechee West Hartford Rd. and Westfield Dr. These are wide paved streets on the way to VT route 14. I will cross several roads, White River (15:25), an active railroad (15:35), major highway (15:39) and only then dive back into the forest (15:43).
17:25 – I arrived at Happy Hill Shelter.
Hiking Summary – 12:14 – 17:32 = 5:18 8.48 mi (2.0 mph)
There is one more hiker here on the first level. He set his tent inside the shelter. I will take the second level.
17:38 – water source here is almost dry, but there 2 remaining puddles of water sprinkled with needles. Water is still good and transparent.
17:52 – jump start the fire from hot ashes left by my neighbor. I used my new folding saw to cut wood to a manageable size. Very good test. It is light, it is sharp, and it hardly takes any space.
18:43 – fire is raging, my fellow hiker has a Southern accent with high pitch and guilty intonations. He frequently looses things in his tent and then runs out in his socks to have a smoke.
18:46 – some sun still lingering at the tops of the trees. There are only 8 mi for tomorrow, so I would go slow. There is no signal here. Light is reaching from somewhere here to a small clearing in front of the shelter.
19:23 – sun is down. I am writing at the edger of shelter platform. I am drinking tea and eating LARA bar. Hood today was home made from Lira – pasta with all kinds of good things. There are remote sounds of a road.
20:18 I did a trip back to water puddle in a complete darkness with a flashlight. It turns out, I forgot my Nikon camera on a log near the watering hole. In the dark, you must look back often to notice surrounding features to be able to return. Even with a light, percentage of visual information is reduced, and the forest in all directions looks the same.
20:20 My neighbor started at Bennington and plans to go to Katahdin. He is praising VT, NH, and ME for their remoteness, but in other states you have much easier access to food, drink, and amenities from AT. For example, in many places in NY vendors would sell convenient food right at the trail side. There are no mosquitoes. It is not too cold now, but it will be in a few hours. I am wrapping myself in a tarp. Fire is crackling but gives almost no light at this point. There is smoke in the air. Also, the roof above me is triangular, like it should be in the attic.
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