I slept in this morning, not getting out of bed until almost 8:45; after over a week of getting up before 7 am every day, it was nice to sleep in for once.
Stays at the Inn at Long Trail come with a free breakfast, which was pretty good, and made the (already cheaper than I expected) room rate (with hiker discount) an even greater deal than I thought.
Yesterday, while I was sitting at the bar catching up on my post backlog, I met a guy named Ron, who took notice of me when he saw me using a keyboard to type into my phone. At breakfast, I ran into Ron and his wife Cynthia, and sat down with them to chat about the trail and various other things for awhile. Ron had attempted an AT thru-hike in 2008, before knee problems forced him to stop as he got into the northeast. Ron, it turns out, is living a life of "comfortable poverty", as he puts it, as the two of them live a largely itinerant life, traveling across the country on their motorcycle, staying in various places for as long as they desire before they move on.
I caught a bus ("The Bus") in to Rutland, the only person on board besides the driver; at $2 per trip ($4 to get me to and back from Rutland), it was a pretty good deal. After getting everything I'd need for the next leg of my hike, which should be four days into Waitsfield, VT, I grabbed lunch at the Yellow Deli and returned to Inn at Long Trail.
Operation Dry Everything Out proceeded much more quickly once I realized that I could actually open my room's window, which allowed the humid, stagnant air from all my gear drying to actually escape the room. By evening, everything, including my shoes, was completely dry, just in time for hiking through more rain tomorrow. (It's too bad, today would have been a beautiful day hike. Why is it that the zeroes tend to happen on beautiful days?)
With my food organized, and another nap accomplished, I returned to the bar for an early dinner, chatting with a southbound AT hiker before Ron, and later, Cynthia, entered the bar, and I wound up chatting with them for several hours. With great generosity (assisted by their "comfortable poverty"), they paid for my dinner. Thanks so much, Ron and Cynthia!
Some light puttering around Rutland and the Inn aside, I gave my feet a break today, and they're feeling better and should be all ready to go tomorrow.
Tomorrow: Though it seems unlikely, hopefully the rain will go away. In either case, it's time to move onwards, to trails not yet hiked.