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AT 2017: Day 133, Norwich to Moose Mountain Shelter

Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait

Hike with Gravity

Until I found my way to St. Barnabas Episcopal Church last night, I was uncertain where I was going to sleep. I never worried about it, though. I just decided I would figure out something, and in the end, that’s the way it worked.

Likewise, I wasn’t sure this morning where I would wind up tonight, but again I didn’t worry about it. I calculated the miles I needed to do for the next few days when I would be meeting Felix again, and determined the miles I needed to do today weren’t too challenging.

There was one thing I was concerned about, though.

Date
Weather Partly sunny, with temperatures in the low 80s
Trail Conditions Road walking through Norwich and Hanover, then many ups and downs, sometimes steep
Today's Miles 12.4 miles
Trip Miles 1,758.6 miles

I was unsure about how much food to carry for the next few days because I didn’t know what options were available when I reached Glencliff, N.H. If I could resupply there, food for four days should be sufficient. If not, I'd need food for five days.

Information in the trail guides I looked at wasn’t clear about options around Glencliff. It was hard to tell how easy it would be to buy what I needed.

The momentary worry soon ended when I thought of a plan with some options.

First, I sent a text to the hostel at Glencliff to ask about resupply. I hoped to have an answer by the time I went to the store before leaving Norwich, but if I didn’t I still had a second option to shop for food in Hanover.

The only place in Norwich to resupply was where I stopped last night, Dan and Whit’s General Store. This time I knew to ask for a free sandwich. I also bought a bagel for breakfast.

I hadn’t yet received a reply from the hostel about resupplying in Glencliff, but decided to only buy most of what I needed to get me there. The store didn't have a few items I might normally buy, so I planned to pick them up in Hanover. Then if I needed to I could buy a little more for an extra day.

By the time I got back to St. Barnabas Church to finish packing I received a text message from the hostel. I was told a shuttle is provided at 5 p.m. in order to resupply.

After saying so long to Dozer, Umbrella Face and Pheasant Melon I repackaged my resupply and began walking toward New Hampshire.

The entire way there involved road walking. After about a half mile through Norwich the trail took me under Interstate 91, then on a bridge over the Connecticut River.

In the middle of the bridge was a small marker to show the state line. While stopping here to take a photo I checked my phone and discovered a comment on Twitter from a former co-worker. He was replying to an article about my son’s efforts to fight racism in the wake of the horrific situation in Charlottesville.

“My hats off for bravery, but then again I don’t understand who you’re [sic] son thinks he is. Who died and crowned him to be the racist ref?”

Wait. Did he really say that? I had to read the comment a couple times to be sure. Was he defending racism?

“You’re saying he should keep quiet about racism?” I asked.

His reply made less sense to me. “No no, I think he should be more on the lines of ‘racial awareness’. Condoning people is not going to solve the problem.”

By now I was getting as much annoyed as I was confused. His argument seemed to offer cover for the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, though it was so muddled I couldn’t be sure.

“Allowing racists to go unchallenged is tacit approval,” I answered.

“He’s playing with fire and could get more people hurt!” my co-worker tried to argue.

“He understands the risks,” I answered, and decided enough was enough. I needed to get back to hiking, so I put away my phone and crossed into New Hampshire.

The trail continued a half mile into Hanover before turning on Main Street and going through the central business district.

A local pizza place offers a free slice to thru-hikers, but the time was only 10 a.m. as I walked through the town, so the restaurant wasn’t yet open.

I continued on to Hanover Food Co-op, the only nearby grocery store. Prices were a little high, but because I had already done most of my shopping and now knew I only needed to resupply for four days, I didn’t need to buy much. I also ordered a breakfast sandwich for my second breakfast.

As the trail led out of town it went past Dartmouth College athletic fields. A sign made it clear this was no place to pitch a tent.

Within the first hour of being back in the forest the trail became much more challenging. In one place the climb was so steep a rope was provided to help in the ascent.

Before long, though, the trail became easy again, first with a walk through a large marsh. Most of this section was over a boardwalk.

Today was a day with a special distinction. It was the day of the first solar eclipse to be visible across the entire contiguous United States since 1918.

The path of totality was far enough away from New Hampshire that I would not be able to view a total eclipse, but as it was, I couldn't view it at all. When it should have been visible, I was under a complete tree canopy.

I was no longer in Vermont, but I discovered that wasn’t the only state where sap was collected for making maple syrup. I saw several more lines of plastic tubing run from tree to tree down a mountainside.

Late in the day I met a nice day hiker named Will Moore at the top of South Moose Mountain. We chatted for a short time and he wished me luck for a successful completion of my thru-hike attempt.

I reached Moose Mountain Shelter at about 6:30 p.m. This was a comfortable time to arrive, allowing me plenty of daylight to set up my tent and prepare dinner.

While I was doing that I received a text from Stick, telling me he and his friend Dustin were set up at Moose Mountain Shelter. I laughed, because I hadn’t seen him.

There were several small tenting areas spread out around the shelter, and after a little bit of searching I found Dustin and Stick camped in a shallow low spot just 100 yards or so from where I was camped.

It's the same story the crow told me
It's the only one he knows.
Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go.
Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait,
Wo, oh, what I want to know, where does the time go?

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"Nothing to tell now. Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine." ref.