The duct tape job only lasted about a mile before it peeled off, which left me with a lot of miles to go before a possible fix. I came up with another idea involving a strap and an extra shoelace and this is what it looked like:
That actually held for 9 miles!
We climbed up Mt Bromley and topped out by a ski lift, with views all around and wildflowers blooming in many colours. Then down to the highway and a quick hitchhike into town.
First stop was the shoe store (haha not really, it was food first). I found some trail runners that I hope will work! They’re half a size smaller than I wanted, but for $40, better that the alternative. With that problem settled, hopefully, we wandered town in the blazing sun, bought some replacement gear, and sent off our cold weather clothes, ridding us of 4.5lbs of stuff.
We bought our next section of food and then got a ride to the Green Mountain Hostel, a wonderful, clean place that offers free laundry, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and all the soda you can drink. Basically, heaven. I spent 30 minutes hacking my beard off with a disposable razor and Megan shaved my head again. We spent a nice evening there, watched Bridesmaids, and then crashed in our private room with the A/C pumping.
Megan reweighed her pack after sending that stuff off to Jimmy and Judy – base weight was 12 lbs; with 4 days food and 1L water = 20lbs. Ryley’s weighed in at 22 with food and water.