The morning started off with rain, heavier than yesterday, and a discussion on whether or not we really wanted to hike today. This resulted in a few flip-flops, before Papa Monkey declared he was hiking, because he had already gotten psyched up, and couldn't handle the whiplash of changing his mind again. This turned out to be a good decision, because the rain stopped by the time we were ready to go.
Today's plan was for a short day, to allow extra time for us to get to Manchester Center to stay at Green Mountain House, which we've heard nothing but good things about, and to allow Papa Monkey time to stop by a car repair place and have his car's leaking power steering hose fixed.
When we first arrived at the Yellow Deli, their wifi wasn't accepting new connections and needed to be restarted. This is a common problem at businesses that provide public wifi, but don't actually know how to configure it appropriately. I had offered to fix the problem if Aysh could get me access to the wifi router's administrative interface. He'd been trying to get in touch with the person who knew the password since I offered to help two days ago, but they seemed to be quite elusive, and even with one final attempt to get the password before we left, there was no success. I did, however, explain what the problem was and what needed to be changed, in the event that he was able to get the password later. I also let him know that we might be back in a couple of days, since Raimbow and I still needed to complete the section over Killington Mountain that we missed.
We left the hostel a little after 9, dropping Rainbow off at the north end of our hike, River Rd. Because of the threat of more rain, he took an umbrella, and attached it to his pack. It looked slightly ridiculous, but it provided hands-free rain protection.
Papa Monkey and I drove back south, and started at US 4 roughly around 10. Since we only had about 5.6 miles to go, the two of us opted to take nothing but our hiking poles, which I've taken to calling "ultraslacking" (after "ultralight" equipment).
About a mile into the day, we passed Maine Junction, where the Appalachian and Long Trails split (or join). I suppose this would be a milestone of sorts if I hadn't skipped over a section.
The trail also went through the Gifford Woods State Forest Park, which had a nice lake, stream, and waterfall.
Papa Monkey and I finished our hike around 12:30, and Rainbow picked us up about 15 minutes later. We drove back to the Yellow Deli, ordering lunch from the deli on the way. After picking up lunch, which took a while longer than expected to be ready, we drove back to Manchester Center to go to the Green Mountain House hostel.
Papa Monkey dropped me and Rainbow off, and then drove off to Massachusetts to get his car's power steering leak fixed. (He'd been waiting for a part to come in at the auto shop for so long that we were almost an entire state away by the time they could do the repair.) We got checked in (into the overflow building, which seems to be a recurring theme, lately), and then got showers and threw out clothes into the laundry.
At Green Mountain House was someone I hadn't seen in three weeks: Mama Bear (now going as Clo Bear; actually, I didn't recognize her at first, since she was in town clothes rather than hiker clothes). After taking some time off to heal her leg, she skipped up to Massachusetts, which is where she had originally planned to start hiking from. She zeroed here today, while working out problems with her shoes.
Hours later, Papa Monkey returned. While the part needed had come in, the garage couldn't get it installed (after spending all afternoon working unsuccessfully on another customer's brakes). He managed to get them to give him the part at cost, wish the promise that another location in the same chain would be able to install it.
We ordered pizza from Christos, since we had enjoyed their food the other day, and were quoted a 45 minute to an hour delivery time. The food wound up taking well over an hour to deliver, so while I waited, I tempered my hunger with the free pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream that Green Mountain House provides its guests.
While we waited, we also continued working out a plan for slackpacking through the Whites. The chief problem is the distance between road crossings coupled with the difficulty of the terrain. Rainbow's friend that can help us also adds a complication, in that he's only available for five or six days, and it will take us longer than that to go through the Whites. We'll figure something out, though, I'm sure. Clo Bear also expressed interest in our slackpacking efforts, though with only one car, there's really no way we can bring someone else in (since there'd be no way for them to fit).