Why? : Appalachian trail Manchester (VT) to Hanover (NH)

Here I go, sweat dripping down my face, shirt soaked as it actually never stopped being wet, shoes covered in mud, working up my way another stony hill or is it a mountain – it looks like a hill but it feels like a mountain. Once again I am asking myself why?

It’s for the workout I guess, for meeting great people and listening to their stories, seeing nice little towns with lots of history and again experience this great generosity you hardly find anywhere else.

The trail hasn’t been getting easier, of course not. We hiked up Killington Peak in Vermont on a foggy, rainy and cold day with a 300-foot elevation gain on the last 0.2 miles over wet boulders. No view but a 15 dollar sandwich and a Longtrail Ale rewarded us on top of Killington in the lodge there. The hike down felt long and beat our feet for the next days. The weather stayed wet and rainy for the next days and we took some slow days hiking from shelter to shelter. Every road crossing was welcome and we either walked out half a mile or hitched to the next gas station or store to hook us up with some mental treats like sandwiches, coffee, soda, chocolate.

After some days though of smelling like a rotten towel, being sticky from sweat and dirt, haunted by Mosquitos I had enough, the only mental treat that could make me feel better was dry preferably clean clothes but even more a shower. We hitchhiked all the way back to Killington in order to find a cheap hotel. The lady at the desk, originally from Florida was so friendly, she let us use her washing machine and gave us white vinegar to wash our clothes with. She was worried about us hitchhiking but finally, let us go ;). We used the next day for resupplying and hitching back to where we got off. It got late though and I still didn’t feel well really so we debated to hike to the first shelter outside Hanover or stay another night. A trail angel list was available in the library there and we found a bed for one more night.This place was special, the lady had a goofy dog and two black kittens. I couldn’t stop petting them, so lovely.

All winded up and excited about the opportunity to see the Arora Borealis we hiked ~25 miles up to Smarts Mountain which has a fire tower and a shelter on top. It was one of the even harder climbs which involved our hands going up rock walls towards the end. Very proud of his accomplishment I still was a bit disappointed that the Arora wasn’t visible after all – we even got up and climbed the fire tower at 1 am, man I was grumpy.

Now some days later I am looking forward with a slight sense of fear towards the White Mountains. I m curious if I will always feel like having a two-day body hangover after climbing for 20 miles but even more, I am curious about the views. It’s supposed to be the best part of the AT. I am also looking forward to some new shoes :), the terrain is killing mine.





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