Day 36

We do crazy things for food! We set an alarm for 6am so we could hike a mile to the road, then 1/2 mile up the road to Qu’s Whistle Stop Diner for breakfast. We each had coffee (hurray for coffee!) and a Hungry Hiker: 2 eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast and choice of pancakes (Ryley) or French toast (Megan), with real Vermont maple syrup. We were planning a 23 mile day so knew we needed to fuel up – a bit on the “greasy” side of greasy diner, but good.
Back to the trail and up Bear Mountain “with a view of the Rutland airport”. Oh my! We counted 21 little orange salamanders on Bear Mountain this morning! I watched out for them and warned Ryley and he made sure we stayed on the trail. A successful morning of no salamanders impaled on our poles or smashed underfoot (I think/hope)!


We found a pretty great place for our lunch break. In the afternoon as we were hiking I turned around to a disgruntled Ryley. I thought he’d hurt himself but no – he was standing looking down at his shoe in dismay. The whole front 1/2 of the sole of his shoe had come delaminated from the rest of the foot!! This is already shoe pair #2 and he’s (only?) hiked 300 miles in them… Shoot! We have 15 miles to go till the next town still, and it’s 5pm on a Friday to boot – even if we had service and could order new shoes to the next town, they won’t get shipped out till Monday.


And we still have to make it to town! Ryley walked along for a bit with a big flappy sole tongue but was worried the whole sole would come off so we decided to use our duct tape – we each have a stash wrapped around our pole. Smart, right? Nope. Turns out the duct tape has stuck to itself so well on our poles we can’t get it off and it’s just  a big sticky stuck on mess. Bah.
So we got out the hockey tape and we taped Ryley’s shoe together. Then we shredded that tape job tape over 5 miles of roots, mud and rocks. We got to a pay shelter with a caretaker and he unearthed a mini roll of duct tape for us – we’ve patched it up and hope it’ll last the 10 miles into town tomorrow. The caretaker also told us there is a New Balance outlet store in town (what?!) so we have our fingers crossed Ryley can find something either appropriate to hike in or some kind of giant wide boat shoe to get him by till we can get to wherever we order his next shoes to!

Science factoid of the day!
I look over at Ryley’s oozing shin (healing from a pretty nasty gash he got in Mahoosuc Arm in Maine, a couple of weeks ago now.
Ryley : Don’t worry, it’s just sweat.
Me: It’s not sweat, it coming out under the scab.
Ryley: Well it’s just plasma-like stuff.
Me: Where do you come up with this stuff? It’s puss and blood, not “plasma-like stuff”.

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