Sat, August 3
Man, sleeping by a train track and a loud road without earplugs is rough. I slept pretty well all considering. I wake at 5:30 and pack up. Eat a breakfast sandwich from Tony’s Deli, have coffee, and hit the trail at 7.
Hike through fields and pastures, a nice change from the forests. Uphills are sweaty. At the top of Ten Mile Hill, around 11am, I call Karen the hostel owner to secure my spot for the night. I think Gravy, Ridge Runner, and Tumbledoor are staying there tonight but not positive. I can either hike to South Kent or Kent, the second option being 8 miles longer. Water. Snacks. At the junction to South Kent I decide to make it a short day and hike to town there.
Upon reaching the road I’m encountered by Connecticut culture. I follow a few doddling older white people in khaki shorts. At a large swimming hole, a group of brown people are blasting music and the old white couple gasps and exclaims “oh my!”. I cross a covered bridge and a guy in a convertible sports car, with woman and dog in the front seat, and he stops to ask if I’ll take their picture driving toward the bridge. Uh ok. He hands me his cell phone and drives toward me, but doesn’t see the other car on the single-lane bridge and nearly collides with it. Honking and yelling ensues. Oh boy.
I walk to the Bull’s Bridge Market and pick up earplugs and cash. A few semi-yellow-blazing NOBOs hang out at the picnic tables. I’m in no mood to chat considering my poor sleep. Karen picks me up and brings me back to the hostel – a bunkhouse for 4 with outdoor shower and kitchen. I shower, then town and laundry.
Quarters and a snack at IGA. Laundry. A parrot calls out the same few sounds and phrases from the laundromat office. An older gentleman, referring to himself as the almost town mayor, comes to chat about the weather, his daughter, and the town. A thunderstorm is a brewing… I hang out at the coffee and chocolate shop awaiting the impending rain. Suddenly at 5 the skies open and water pours down in sheets. Lightning and thunder are close. Karen gets me at 5:30.
I return to the hostel, looks like I have the place to myself! I eat some of Karen’s homemade pasta with sauce and veggies, chat with my mom, have a free Blue Moon another hiker left behind, and write. Sleep at 8:30.