Friday, August 15, 2008

1600 something down, 500 something to go

Whew! So I just spent about an hour on Facebook. Bad idea - I will try to stick to just my blog from now on.

As you can see, our miles are clicking away. We're in Manchester Center, VT at the Green Mountain House, a wonderful hostel run by a guy named Jeff. He retired awhile back and his wife finally told him to "get a hobby." Soooo he refurbed a house next door and started a hostel. It's insanely new, clean, comfy and I can see how hikers totally vortex (i.e. end up spending way more time than they'd planned) here. It's nice because he has HD cable and all of us hikers are addicted to the Olympics. People scrawl cryptic stats in trail registers counting down Phelps' medals and the USA's domination over China (or vice versa). We watched that one US gymnast (I call her Big Neck) fall apart and it was the juicest trail news for days. "Did you see her waver off the beam?" and "Could you believe the butt plant on that floor routine??"

(btw: Pictured above is Holler and Brahma and Brahma's Beard here at Green Mountain Heaven).

Vermont is rainy. The trail is muddy. This is not a stream, it's the trail.

The days are harder and harder because we've been at this a long time and the need to drive a car and make a spreadsheet and wear mascara is increasing. I just started a load of laundry, and you know what? It was elating. I can only imagine the joy Dustan is going to get from changing the oil. When they say the AT changes your life, I think this is what it means: Starbucks! Google! Scope! Yipppeeee! Here are some more culprits of the Vermont mud.

We found the same shoe Dust wears today at an outfitter. Niiiice.

Yup, this is my foot. Note that the second toenail is indeed ready to fall off any moment, though totally unrelated to hiking. I janked my foot in a river and the toenail split from the toe. This was back in....Port Clinton, PA.

This is me on a chilly wet morning holding up my Montrails for you to see that they are soaked, muddy and I am already cold. The only reason they are not completely mud-covered is because I waded in the last stream and washed the main chunks off. You're probably sipping your first cup of coffee as you read this....

Holler fell one day as we were hiking together. He thought he would "let it dry and brush the dirt off" but we realized that was kinda funny. See, nothing dries when it's not only rainy but also humid.

I caught the last bit of sunsine before the storm gobbled up the day.

Some happy parting notes. One - even when the trail is tough, it is still a fairyland.

And two - Thinker's brother is on the trail! Welcome Tom, the geneticist.

And last, we had a party at the Goddard Shelter. Cookie Monster, NoAmp, Spidey, Thinker, Tom, Tailgate, Becca, Jogle, and a few Long Trail thru-hikers. The Long Trail is actually the oldest trail in the US, and it joins up with the AT in this portion of Vermont, but they split somewhere north of here. The AT goes into New Hampshire and then Maine, but the Long Trail keeps going north. Simply put, at this point we could walk to Canada faster than we can get to Katahdin.


Anonymous said...

Hey guys! I am finally home from Colorado; Bets, I thought my feet were in bad shape, but you need a pedi, bad! You guys have made it so far on the trail and I'm so proud of you! I love you two and can't wait to hear about your amazing adventure-this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Anonymous said...

Wow your almost there!!! Question: What is going to be the first thing you do when you get home? I can’t imagine what I would do if I were in your wore out shoes. I know you two have been talking about it. On a different note, Domingo great "MAN MANE", it just radiates manliness. I think you should keep it for a little while; it would look good on the motorbike. I definitely want to see it up close and personal before you trim it. Betsy, what is up with you taking pictures of your feet? The rest of the photos look great. We all are looking forward to your return. Stay safe and I got a steak with your name on it back here at the River House.
~love Eli

Anonymous said...

Hi you guys!
I am still keeping up and anxiously awaiting each message and batch of pictures. Betsy, I agree with your friend(above comment). Those foot pictures are definitely not in keeping with the rest of your photogenic self, but I know you are just showing us how rough it is. Dustan, I kind of like your beard! I am proud of you all and of such an accomplishment--even though you're not finished yet, there is no doubt in my mind that you will. Things around here are disgustingly routine and same as usual--the kids are getting ready to go back to school--I am finally getting to where I don't wish I could be going with them. One different thing---Barak Obama is coming to Martinsville!!!Lazy retirement suits me. I kept McKenna this week-end while Chris and Dawn took Keeland to Busch Gardens. I had a good time with her!! Grandchildren rule!!! to use some modern terminology.
Be safe and continue to have the time of your lives!!!
Love, Jo

Anonymous said...

WOW is all I have to say... I remember not long ago you all were in damascus. Shew I have been praying for you all mad core. I was showing mom the blog and she couldnt believe your beard dustin. haha.... anyways not long now, and i will see you soon... Dustin I am not getting married brother just thought you should know that. haha.. love you guys and i cannot wait to seee you and hear so many stories... by the way some good news. I am the new praise and worship leader at first baptist damascus.. GOD IS awesome!!!!

Anonymous said...

by the way that last posting was from none other than Jeremy Weaver, definitly had a brain fart there. love you all

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,
It's Bert. I'm glad to see you guys are doing well and are still on the trail. Holler is was skinny now. I just started school this week and I miss the trail a ton. Hope all is well. And I hope to talk to you soon. Eventually. Ta Ta for now. -Bert

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! I am so excited for you two! I can't believe that you are almost done! Way to go! :) I am now at the HA and loving it so much! Yeah, it's a challenge but God is awesome!! My ministry placement is in the GE call center! woohoo! But I will talk to you guys soon (Thanksgiving possibly)! Love you!
p.s.- my blog is if you wana check it out when you get done.