May 25, 2014
Start: Wintturi Shelter
End: Hanover, NH
Mileage: 26.2 (+0.2 for shelter side trail)
Last night at the shelter, I was joined by Reg, a NOBO thru hiker. We turned in early but were kept awake for a while by a porcupine chewing on the wood of the shelter, which reverberated a lot. It also became evident that my air mattress somehow developed a leak, which I could not find to patch, and would deflate enough to leave me lying on the wood floor within an hour or so of being fully inflated. This made sleeping rather difficult as I had to roll off the mattress and inflate it every few hours. I was awake at 4:45am and decided to just get up. I was on the trail by 5:20am.
Today didn’t have any serious elevation but I did climb Dana, DuPuis, and Thistle Hills and they were quite enough of a challenge. I got to see blue sky for the first time since Wednesday around 10:30am. I had great weather for the entirety of today’s hike though the grass was soaked in dew until the sun evaporated it so my boots got fully saturated. The trail led straight past West Hartford Convenience store but they were closed because they never recovered from Hurricane Irene last fall and had to shut down, based on a note on their door. I sat on their front porch and changed my wet socks and silk liners for marginally drier socks and liners.
I saw a few day hikers and runners out and about as I got closer to Norwich. Thankfully, the last few miles of my hike were all road walks and downhill. Two people in Norwich had Trail Magic boxes at the end of their driveways. At the first one, I had a sparkling water; at the second, fresh watermelon. It was glorious. On the walk from Norwich to Hanover, the road crossed over the Connecticut River which acts as the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire. From the river, it wasn’t far to Hanover center and Dartmouth College.
Once there, I changed into my town clothes in Starbucks, got a drink, and messaged my friends that I was in town. I walked down a street or two and picked up some take-out at the Noodle Station. My friends picked me up shortly after. Once at my friends’ house, I showered, washed my clothes, and ate food. In the morning, they kindly brought me back to my car in Manchester, VT, after stopping at a diner for some delicious breakfast.