I woke up and headed out of the woods, back in to town. I had arranged to meet Honeybuns at the art center for breakfast, so we walked over to Lou’s a cafe that has free donuts for hikers. We sat at the counter with our packs and stared at the menu. I ordered all the foods that popped into my head.
I started with my free crueler (aka a twist donut)– maple glazed. Honeybuns informed me that the crazy tubes I’d seen tied around trees along the AT were for maple syrup. I’d figured it was ridiculous property boundaries that made no logical sense.
The donut was top 3, maybe top 2. It was delicious.
Next came my muffin, warm and fluffy with giant fresh blueberries bursting inside of it. I died.
And finally, an omelette and a pancake and home fries. I stuffed my face and we shared trail stores and food stories and laughed while we ate.
Full and sated, we walked over to the DOC and waited while our electronics charged. the Count and Sunny came in, and we exchanged stories about last night. We laughed at the awards along the wall, and sat around lazy. Eventually Honeybuns and I walked down to CVS for me to buy bug spray and itch eraser and snacks.
We waited for my bus…and waited and waited and waited. A consultation with the Hanover Inn valets confirmed there was no weekend bus. Thanks google. Back to the DOC and an official zero for me!
Wok man, Sunny, Count, and Honeybuns were all taking a zero too. We decided to try to watch Dead and Breakfast, a terrible slasher flick they’d seen at trail angel Ljnda’s house. While Honeybuns and I called every trail angel listed to try and find somewhere to stay, the other guys went to brunch and set up an impromptu movie theater in the DOC.
The movie started (when we pressed play), and as the horrible acting went on and on, two important things happened: 1. Honeybuns had a former coworker, a travel nurse, message him and say that she and her husband were in the area and could she grab him (and he invited me) for dinner and a swim in the extended stay hotel pool and 2. One trail angel came through in a place to stay!
Honeybuns and I left for dinner with Nancy and Pete- clam chowder and then brats and macaroni salad when Honeybuns and I proved bottomless pits. There was wine and tequila and the Olympics and a riotous good time.
They dropped us off at St Barnabus Episcopal Church in Norwich, VT. The priest (?) was out, but a parishioner let us in and showed us around. He was tall and kind, with grey hair and the kind of jokes that faithful church goers love to tell. I could see in him so many of my favorite church members.
We’re joined by two SOBOs, the disciple and powderpuff.
I’m sleeping tonight on a couch in the library of a small New England church, with Honeybuns on the floor. It makes me think about my church families, and how they would welcome hikers if they were in hiker towns. There are lots of ways to show hospitality. I bet this church wouldn’t expect that one hiker staying here would be a section hiker with a billion clergy friends.
I needed the zero. My knees feel better. I found an ice pack in the freezer so I’m taking advantage of that. Honeybuns popped a blister for me, a big deep one that was right on the ball of my foot. Hopefully it will finish draining and healing tomorrow while I ride to Bennington. I’d like to hike in to a shelter tomorrow night. We shall see.
I’m going to miss my NOBO friends. I’m a little tempted to continue on north with them, but I want to see Maureen and the beautiful state of Massachusetts. I think y’all will enjoy this one. Just wait for upper goose pond.
Trip total: 126.5
MVP: muffin? There was so much!