It was a no-rush morning, and it was nice. Scatters and I took our time packing up and eating breakfast, but we'd walked the three miles into town by 10 or so. We got a hitch with Sue, a nice lady who test drives cars for a living. Cool. She drove us to Rite-Aid, then to the motel to pick up our packages, then on to the post office. She said if she hadn't been going out of town that day we could've stayed at her place. Well, thanks, Sue!
Outside the post office, we waved farewell to Sue then organized our new food before sending a few things on. I sent my shoes back to the manufacturer. They'd seen better days... (side note: Williamstown is quite a lovely little corner of the world. I'd like to return sometime and enjoy it more. Shout out to Bea!!) Then we were on our way to Desperado's. A couple sobo's told us about this place, and we had to know of it was true. They said that thru hikers need only to sign the register at the restaurant, and then we eat free. A whole meal, drink and dessert. And it was free!! The mystical, magical trail angel restaurant was real, and a big group of us ate lunch there for no charge. Tattoo, Boss, Timon, 151, and Klarity were already on dessert when we got there. Scatters and I charged our phones and ate delicious Tex-Mex food and chatted a bit before the others slowly left to get back to the trail. What a nice gesture, Desperado's. Thanks so much!!
We ended up getting a hitch back to the trail with our waiter, Chris, when he got off work at 2pm. (Thanks, Chris!) Now, with heavy packs (luckily I found the BRICK Tattoo had hidden in my pack... 151 found it in his pack first, though. Oh Tattoo and the mess-with-your-pack game...) and heavy stomachs, we started back up the climb to Vermont. It was a BEAUTIFUL day to hike. Bright sun. Blustery gusts. Vermont was calling.
About a mile up the trail, we caught up to Sandbagger, Xan and Neutron who were taking a break. Later we caught up with Tattoo and Klarity who had been reunited with Mountain Tattoo and Dumpster Bear who had taken some time off the trail. Hello everyone! Shortly after that, we got to Vermont. Smiles! Scatters and I were super psyched. VERMONT!!!?! Hard to believe this is one of only three states left. Wow.
Onwards we hiked into Vermont. It was lovely and steep then nice then muddy then muddier then gorgeous then a bit chilly and blustery then muddy... At one point, Scatters slipped into the mud with a full foot and almost lost a sandal. I somehow avoided full mud steps - it was a good day to have long legs.
As it started to get a bit darker we passed a small pond where the water level was above where we were walking. It was bizarre, and we couldn't figure it out. Beaver dam doings? Man-made structure? Either way, it was pretty neat. We finally made it to the shelter with just enough light to set up camp. There were tons of people here, and most of them were already done with dinner and about to go to bed. I made dinner with Scatters, Xan and Neutron, and now it's time for bed. It's going to be chilly tonight, and I am SO glad to have my real sleeping bag back!
I wonder how many folks will still be around when I finally roll out of bed/tent in the morning...
-- Posted from the trail...