Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Quick Stop in Bennington, VT

We ended up having a substantial thunderstorm with lots of rain last night. We slept warm and dry, though. The tent is still holding up great. The seam in the floor did leak at one spot u see my air mattress, but just barely, so Keith will pick up some seal sealer and do a little maintenance at our next stop, Bennington.
We couldn't really tell what the weather would do, but it wasn't raining when we woke up, so we packed up and hiked on. We only had 4 miles to hike into town, where we needed to resupply food.
The hike started out just fine and as we expected, until the last half-mile, which ended up being the steepest descent yet down endless big black rocks which were arranged like steps. Normally, not a big deal, but this morning everything was wet and slippery,and we were hiking through a thick fog. We went extra slow and were very careful not to slip. We finally reached the bottom and popped out of he woods right at Rt. 9 into Bennington, VT.

Just as we started to make a plan on how to get into town, two young guys pulled up and asked if we had seen two of their friends who were hiking the Long Trail. As a matter of fact, we had seen them at the shelter where we had camped, and they were still on the bunks when we had left. Turns out, one of them was not having a good time, and had called this friend to pick him up. The other boy was going to go on solo hiking the Long Trail to Canada. Since they had a while to wait, they offered to give us a ride to town. Sweet!
We hopped in, and he delivered us to our motel, the Autumn Inn. When we saw it, we weren't too thrilled. We asked to see one of the rooms, and once we saw it, decided to find a better place. We made a few calls, and Keith found a motel that actually had a 2-bedroom efficiency with living room and furnished kitchen!

Once again, now we just had to get there. We walked up the road to the next light with the intention of hitchhiking, but just as we took off our packs, a bus pulled up. Keith ran over and asked if it was the public transportation, and if it went by our motel, and the driver said he could get us there, so we jumped in!
He ended up taking us the the town's bus depot, where we caught a different bus to the motel - and it was all free. Awesome! We met another hiker on the bus who told us when he came off the trail, a bus had just pulled up out on Rt 9 and he had taken it into town. That was great news, because we could just take it back to the trail tomorrow. This town's bus system is awesome! That same hiker was about to start dental school, and had thru-hiked in 2007. He reminded us of just how lucky we were to be doing what we were doing. Thank you for the reminder, Enterprise.
We ended up catching the next bus, which didn't mind taking us right to our motel. The lady at the motel, Barbara, was nice enough to let us in early (11:30) so we could shower and go get a hot lunch at the diner next door. It was yummy! I had what was called a "junk omelette," which had a little bit of everything in it. :)
Later, we divided and conquered. The boys headed to grocery shop, and I headed to the bus stop to go to the nearest laundromat. We also laid out everything on the deck of our place to dry out. This was something we really needed since things were pretty damp from the night before.
After all of the errands were done, we regrouped, repacked all of our food and laundry, and dry stuff (tents, flys, etc.), relaxed a while in front of the TV (did you know the Olympics are about to begin??? Gee - we are out of touch!), then walked down to the nearby Pizza Hut where we pigged out on wings (gluten-free!), salad bar and pizza.
We headed back to the Knotty Pine Motel, and then did a bit of strategic planning for the Whites. They are something that are a real game changer for us. We won't be able to resupply as easily or cover as many miles per day. Also, finding a camping spot is more of a challenge because so much of it is above tree line. We are extremely excited to finally be reaching them though!!!!!

(I wish we had more time to spend here. They have a nice monument dedicated to the Green Mountain Boys (and the view from the top is supposed to be grand), and the Robert Frost Museum is just 3 miles down the road. It was his homestead, and where he wrote many of his most well known works. They also have 4 covered bridges right in town).

- Steady and F100

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