Today we entered Manchester Center Vermont. We are at mile 1638.4 and are within 537.8 miles of our final destination of Mt. Katahdin in Maine. When we first started 500 miles seemed like a long way but now it doesn't seem far at all. Most of our thru hiking friends are talking about what is to come with New Hampshire and the White Mountains about a week away. We have been in the Green Mountains for a few days now and have finally entered into a few nice climbs. We will be receiving our cold water gear soon when we hit Hanover New Hampshire. The forest has changed in the last 100 miles. We are going through a lot of boggy areas and now we are seeing some fabulous spruce and pine forests. Moose has been a subject of our conversation since we are seeing a lot of moose scat. This also means we have to be very careful about our water. We see a fair share of the streams draining from beaver ponds and we try our best to avoid these sources. Other sources come from the mountain and are good water for us. We are constantly finding very muddy areas that we have to do our best to avoid. We have have also started seeing our south-bound A.T. brothers. The trail is getting crowded as the north-bound and south-bound hikers collide. .
We did have an interesting evening a few nights ago. We decided to pop into the small town of Bennington, VT. instead of going up to the next shelter past the road to Bennington. We figured we would take our chances on meeting up with someone who would take us in or provide a place in which we could set up our tents and hammocks for the night. We hitched into Bennington and found a nice little place to eat a hamburger and have a local microbrew. The table next to us had some people that were finished with their dinner and they left a whole plate of calamari untouched. I guess it looked gross to them so they just didn't eat it. After doing close to 20 miles the calamari was looking pretty good to us. So I grabbed it and it was gone within 60 seconds. Then the time came when we finally found a little park area in which we figured we could set up camp. It was where the homeless slept. They were very accomodating telling us where we could camp where the police wouldn't bother us, offering us water, and even offering to take us to the soup kitchen the next day. We ended up sleeping amoungst the homeless. This trip is bringing me new experiences every day.
Tonight we have free stay in a very nice house in Manchester Center. The name of the place I will not divulge but with a little work it can be found out by asking around. We have been told that there will be a lot more trail magic in the northern states and we are now seeing it. There has been hardly a hostel from PA through MA and the prices of the hotels are outrageous in price. It is great to see the trail community is alive and well in New England.
"Life to the Fullest" Daren "Vagabond"