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Turtle Feet - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2011

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Turtle Feet
City: Phelps
State: WI
Country: United States
Begins: Mar 13, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Aug 20th, 2011
Trip Distance: 6.4

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 788
Journal Visits: 30,094
Guestbook Views: 1,702
Guestbook Entrys: 64

Gear list Training

Appalachian Trail Map

I 'heart' Bennington, VT

This will be a brief post just to let family & friends know my whereabouts. I'll be sure to come back at a later time and fill you in on all that's transpired between here and Painsillvania.

Yesterday was my first full day hiking the state of Vermont and I must say that it so far lives up to it's reputation of being called "Vermud". There's some scientific explanation for all these muddy spots, but it doesn't matter much - we hike through it one way or another. Midday yesterday, while having lunch at the Congdon shelter we could here thunder in the distance. Deciding to wait and see, the thunder eventually passed and we wrapped up lunch and headed north. The plan at that point was to hike as far as the next shelter, about 1.5 miles north of the Bennington road crossing. All those plans changed when we were caught in a downpour about 2 miles outside of town. Nothing like thunder, lightning, and a bunch of wet rain to send a hiker into town.

I managed to make it to the road without wiping out, falling on my ass and caking myself with that wholesome Vermont mud. Had I fallen, I could not have brought myself to attempt a hitch into town; no way would I have crawled into the front seat of someones car leaving a big 'ole mud-print behind. It didn't take too long on the side of the highway before I had myself a ride. I late-model Jeep Cherokee pulled over and a good-looking guy opened the passenger door and asked me to jump in. (don't need to ask me twice!) He told me his name was Keeper, I introduced myself as Turtle Feet and off we went. As we chatted our way into Bennington, it became clear that Keeper (his real name) was really getting into this "delivering the hiker to her stated destination". I mentioned that I was looking for a hostel called the Vortex, somewhere near a Shell gas station. It was about a 10 minute drive and the conversation gets a little goofy when he starts (jokingly) refering to us as needing to get into marriage counseling. Odd, but strangely funny at the same time. He was an informative tour guide of Bennington and promptly drove me to the Shell, but wouldn't leave me there. (hmmm) He insisted on getting me to the Vortex. I made a call to a fellow hiker to get me some better directions, which ended up being a series of 4 or so calls to get it all straightened out - turns out there are 2 Shell stations within 3 blocks of each other! Makes for confusion, but in the course of all our efforts I did manage to get out of the car at the first Shell to go ask the attendant if she was familiar with the Vortex. As I was walking into the station Keeper followed me in complimenting me on my "great legs". Whoa! Now I know this guy's not right. At 5' nothing, I barely even HAVE legs. Now Beyonce', that chick has great legs!!! He wanted to buy me a Honey Bun, "no thanks", "how 'bout a Gatorade?", "nope, I'm good".

We finally got complete directions to the Vortex and he had me back in his Jeep and on the way. I arrived safely with 2 hiker friends waiting outside the house for me. As Keeper pulled into the drive, I got out of the Jeep, gathered my pack and poles, and gently broke it to him that I was filing for divorce. He pleaded for a chance in therapy, but I firmly closed the door. My fellow hiker friends stood there, heard the exchange, shook their heads, and walked me up to the house. Just another crazy hitch!

Bennington is the kind of town you immeadiately fall in love with. They've managed to maintain a thriving downtown business district filled with things like micro-brew pubs, coffee shops, chocolatiers, pizzarias and bookstores. Quaint, but not too small.

The Vortex is a wonderful oasis for a hiker to come in off the trail and recharge (literally and figuratively). Chris & Arla, the owners, are as cool as they come! Sadly, Katahdin won't wait forever, so it's back on the trail for me today; on to Manchester Center...


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Sherry's Excellent Adventure - AT In 2011

I do not intend to tip-toe through life, only to arrive safely at death!

Follow my Twitter updates at http://twitter.com/SherryLeitner

 

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