Bamforth Ridge shelter to Jonesville post office On Rt. 2. 6 miles.
Up and at ’em to a beautiful day here in the north country. Were all out of food, but there’s a box full of it waiting for me at the Jonesville post office. I know because I gave it to Bad Influence’s wife Katie to mail for me back at the Long Trail Inn when she dropped him off.
Bittersweet day in that Bad Influence has completed his time hiking with MeGaTex for now. I will miss his dogged determined hiking style. He has the gift of remembering these difficult experiences in a favorable light. I’ve been often stunned by his ever present remark, “It wasn’t all that bad”, even after I watched him skid off the trail several times one day.
We’re on America’s oldest long distance hiking trail, fully supported by decent publicity, but we’ve only met a dozen thru-hikers hikers out here. Days go by seeing just a couple of day hikers.
Of course there is the inevitable bad advice coming at us every day- Here are some examples of erroneous information we have received, just in the past 24 hours:
1) The post office in Jonesville is closed.
2) There are stores in Jonesville.
3) There is no cell coverage on Camel’s Hump.
We walked 3 miles down the trail then had a three mile road walk to a bridge across the Winooski River, bringing us to the stark Spartan burg of Jonesville. I was disappointed that my food box did not arrive. We were there by 10:15 and were sitting outside on a railroad tie waiting for Katie to take BI home. A woman in a blue VW bug told us she had hiked the LT in the 1970’s and then asked if we needed a ride anywhere. She was happy to take us to Burlington, just 18 miles west, where she was going to work, so we hugged Bad Influence good bye and then were off for a day in the city.
I had finally reached my friends Tom and Ann, who were living in Burlington after trying out Portland, Maine. I had been trying for days to talk or get efficient email to him, but the connections this far north were spotty at best. They offered to house, feed us, let us wash clothes, and take showers at their home.
We called Tom from Henry’s Diner off Church St. And he was able to join Lee and I for lunch. Both he and Ann were working, so Lee and I went to the Gear Exchange where I bought a cool consignment hiking shirt for $7 and a new pack cover for $15. Both my shirt and pack cover are now tattered, and ripped. Then we went down to the park by Lake Champlain and hung out. I the meantime I received a call from the postmaster at Jonesville who informed me that Katie had dropped off my box there, and that I could pick it up tomorrow morning when Tom would give us a ride back to the Long Trail.
Before Lee resupplied at the co-op we stopped for a drink at the Vermont Pub, renown as ” one of the top 25 brew pubs in the USA”.
I’m writing this late in my bed after a dinner of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, salad, and a dessert of angel food cake, fresh raspberries, and ice cream, topped with lemoncello.
My friends helped me. I treasure that, and will return to the trail renewed, refreshed, and with much appreciation for this world.