This week we parted company with the Vermont Long Trail. It went left, we went right! I remember when we were on the trail in 2000 a lot of people spoke of the LT and some even walked the additional 160 miles to complete all of it as well as the Appalachian Trail thru hike they were doing. I don't remember thinking too deeply about it at the time, we hardly had enough time and money to do what we wanted to do on the AT, let alone the LT. Even this time I did wonder how much better the forest could get to make all these people want to walk it. Truth is, it's pretty much the same forest! The difference is the people walking the long trail. For AT thru hikers who have come all the way from Georgia, the long trail is a pleasant distraction for them. All of a sudden the trail is full off fresh faced hikers that look at them in awe and marvel at their achievements so far.
We stopped at the state line, (Massachusetts to Vermont) right where the LT starts. Nothing special about the day, it was a Saturday though and it was also a long weekend. Then out of the green, a couple.. then another and another. All excited and getting photos at the start of the LT. And then it began. From then on the trail community swelled to at least 4 times the size it had been. For me, someone who likes to meet and chat with people, it was great! New people everywhere.
For the next week we had lots of new friends, it was great. We did have a few days where we didn't go anywhere near the miles we had planned but it was loads of fun.
The LT can be walked in winter with snow shoes. Hard out! It is the oldest long trail in the USA and was constructed by the Green Mountain club from 1910 to 1930. The AT follows the LT for around 100 miles and runs all the way to Canada. We are saving it for later..
As mentioned, the trail was a bit quiet after we left the LT, but not for long. We are now meeting south bound hikers that started at our destination. They are SOBO's and have decided to do the hard bit first! A lot of them will walk right by us with the standard greeting of just 'enjoy your hike' that's it! Some will chat but only a few. Most of them have started in the north to avoid the crowds in the south, some because of school and some because it's just harder. We met some kiwis! They started in the north just due to timing. They are www.twotravellingkiwis.com and are doing daily updates!! Don't ask us for that, we are too tired. We had a long afternoon break with them and some of their hiking friends at a country shop in the middle off nowhere. It was good to catch up with some kiwis even if they had been living in Perth for a while.
To finish Vermont we walked through the second to last trail town, Norwich. This town is right on the Connecticut River and is a pretty nice place. We stayed at the Norwich Inn that was built in 1791. It's been renovated since then thankfully. Next stop was the last trail town and one you might have heard of. Hanover, New Hampshire. It's the home of Dartmouth college. It's an Ivy league college so the town is full of students. Have to say not your normal looking uni students. This college is one of the expensive ones and Audi Mercs and Volvo cars are everywhere in town.
We are having a few days rest in town and decided to treat ourselves with something special, new backpacks!! The pack I have used to this point was one I bought in the USA in 2000 so it's had a pretty good long life,16 years! I was working out the hiking days it's had and counted up around 350. It's walked around 1000 miles of the Appalachian trail, the Bibbulmun track twice, it's walked half way across Tasmania and many many tracks in New Zealand including some of the most difficult, and it's even been involved in a full on helicopter rescue.. hehe. I have been looking at packs people are using and I've talked to a few people about their packs. I have to say some of the hikers I've spoken to would not have even been walking when I bought my old pack!! Showing my age. We are getting new ultra light packs that will last us another 16 years I hope! Look out for the pack in new the next blog post and photos.
it's Our Epic Trip...
David & Christine are from New Zealand and are embarking on a trip around the world the slow way, on foot and by personal vehicle. This could get interesting!