8/3 Manchester Center, VT 6.3 Miles

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Up early this morning excited for a chance to dry my gear out and dry myself out a little. A nice walk in the morning sun certainly helped to quicken my pace and raise my spirits. I knew I would be reaching town early, which meant a real second breakfast.

Caught a quick hitch into town from a local contractor. He was nice enough to point me to Up for Breakfast so I could get some grub.

Called Jeff from the Green Mountain hiker Hostel for a ride after breakfast. This hostel is absolutely the best hostel on any trail that I have ever stayed at. Jeff is a great host and very knowledgeable about the trail and resupply. No smelly boots are allowed in the hostel!!! Clean showers, linens, loaner clothing, laundry, A/C, and WiFi help to make your stay enjoyable. No alcohol allowed, so the rowdy partying hikers aren’t there to ruin your down time. Free pint of Ben and Jerry’s with your stay and free shuttles to and from town. Who could ask for more?!  Did I mention that this is a house that has a full kitchen, living room with cable/DVD player etc…, and computer?

Took care of my usual town chores. Showered, Laundry done, Gear Dry, Trail Runner Patched. Yep, I said trail runners patched. The soles are beginning to fall apart after only three days. Headed to town later in the afternoon for a burger and beer.

Feeling fat and bloated after my lunch/dinner.

Hostel is now full with 10 hikers who are talking gear, food, and shop. Pmags blog kept coming up and many hikers talked longingly of him and his posts. A few even acted like they knew him the way they talked. I couldn’t resist asking them if they know him. I chimed in with, you know Magaroni? Of course they had no idea who that was and I just laughed. I then explained that Magaroni is Mags, or at least that was his trail name on the AT in 1998. They were shocked that I knew and hiked a bit with him back then.

Interesting Observation. I have been asked when I left Springer Mountain, GA several times on this trip. When I tell people that I am hiking the Long Trail and not the AT they just say, “Oh”. There is little respect from the AT hikers towards LT hikers. It appears that hiking 275 miles is below the standards of hiking 2000 miles. I agree that the distance is much less, but I do not agree that the Long Trail is easier or any less of a physical challenge.

As Jeff and I were talking about the AT and my experience in 1998, he said that he had read Dragons Breath’s journal on the internet a few years ago. He asked me my trail name (Moondaddie) and then said, “Hey you’re Famous!, I know who you are!”. Jeff went on to tell me some of the names of people he remembered from the journal, such as, Gandhi, Smiley and Veto and how much he enjoyed the posts.

Early in the evening Jeff called a meeting with all the hikers. I thought this was very weird, but went down and joined the group. Jeff thanked us for staying, provided some trail info and then threw a 12 pack of Long Trail Ale on the table. He figures that if you are hiking in Vermont on the AT/LT you might as well have a taste of Vermont.

Off for a second shower before bed!!! Took some time to patch my heels. This is a preventive move on my part.

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