With the windy peak of Killington behind me and fewer than 500 miles of Appalachian Trail ahead of me, I hitched into the town of Rutland. I had my long needed winter gear at the post office and I needed to resupply.
I had only planned on staying one night in Rutland, but the weather forecast two days out wasn't looking good. The remnants of a hurricane were making a path up to New England and was bringing lots of rain and cold. Last minute, I decided to slack pack 24 miles back into Rutland and zero the next day.
Because this was such a last minute decision, I didn't hit the trail until almost 11. I needed to hike almost 24 miles to the road crossing and hitch back into Rutland, ideally before dark. I had never hitched in the dark before and wasn't exactly excited about it.
Shortly after I began walking, I ran into a group of hikers I had not seen in quite some time, including Gitfiddle. We stopped in the middle of the trail catching up for at least 45 minutes. It was great seeing them again. Running into friends you haven't seen for a while on the trail always feels like a reunion.
By now it was almost 1, and I still had roughly 20 miles to hike in the next 6 hours. It would be a push to get to the road before dark, but the terrain was relatively easy. Although I hiked incredibly fast, that did't stop me from enjoying gorgeous views from the top of The Lookout Cabin or the glassy stillness of the lakes.
I made it to the road as dark descended. Could I find a ride into town before dark? Ironically, a group of us at the hostel were speculating about hitching at night the day before. No one had done it and the consensus was that it would be much more difficult. I can assure you, it is! It took me close to 45 minutes but I got a ride!
Back in Rutland, I grabbed dinner and drinks with Space Ghost. Over beers we learned that we both had spent time in Sierra Leone! Crazy small world.
The next day proved to be quite nasty. The temperature dropped and a steady rain fell all day, A perfect day to zero. And I'm so glad I did. While chatting with some fellow hikers in the common area of the hostel, a familiar face I hadn't seen since North Carolina walked into the room. BEAN! Holy crap I hadn't seen Bean in almost 1400 miles, and finally he caught up to me!
It was so good to see him. We spent the rest of the day sharing stories and catching up. We went to see a movie. Later that night, we even went bowling with Big Bird, Tanglefoot, Can-do, C-Sharp, Turbo Turtle, and Cheese. Up to this point on the trail, this was probably my favorite zero day. I'm so glad I decided at the last minute to spend a couple more days in Rutland.
The weather cleared up the following day and I returned to the trail. The sun was shining gloriously, and it was quite warm. I had roughly 25 miles to the New Hampshire border. Those miles passed by quickly and relatively uneventful. Surprisingly, quite a few black berries remained despite it being early September. Apples hung low on their trees, ripe and ready to eat.
But the good weather didn't last long. Only one day, in fact. I crossed into New Hampshire under fog and rain. I was starting to get concerned about the upcoming White Mountains. I certainly did not want bad weather on one of the trail's most scenic stretches. But for now, I was enjoying the latest milestone, my 13 state. I ran into Gitfiddle in Hanover on the campus of Dartmouth College, and we celebrated this milestone the best way hikers know how: eating!
I am a filmmaker. I am an adventurer. I believe in children. My friends are obsessed with my beard. I am obsessed with beer. I want to embrace and fully live this life I’m blessed with. I want to be known as someone who loves deeply.
On May 16, 2017 I set out on my dream, the adventure of a lifetime: a 2,189.8 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail. I want to push people to live their dreams and pursue their passions.