Summary: The Lookout: 1718.1 West Hartford, VT: 1737.8 Total miles: 19.7 Turns out we neither went to a shelter nor did a big push, but we will get to that. Over the night, several downpours pummeled us. We were woken up each time, but probably still slept better in the tent then in the shelter as hikers were leaving as early as 4:30. We also heard the guy from the roof scamper down in the middle of the night. We made it out a little later than we wanted (at about 8:15) which meant we wouldn't hit the upcoming farm stand when it opened at 10.
We made a pit stop at the shelter for water and ran into Monty again. He jumped into our hiking train for the day as we continued up and down Vermont. Still, without mud, and with the changing scenery, we were enjoying the hike. After just six miles, we took the road to the On the Edge farm shop for second breakfast. They carried snacks, small and large pies, muffins, juices, chocolate milk, ice cream, all sorts of deliciousness for hungry hikers. We scarfed a muffin, small pie, and various snacks before heading back to the trail (we also got the chance to deliver good news about the availability of pies to Tenacious). Duck Fart got back into the lead, and with all of us well sugared, we burned a path down the trail.
We heard there were several coolers of trail magic sodas. We did actually find one that was full and also caught up with Anvil and Avalanche. We stopped for a late lunch and talked about what to do for the upcoming miles. After sixteen we were all feeling energized and good and we thought about going 13.5 more miles all the way into Hanover, NH rather than stopping at Happy Hill Shelter and nearo'ing the next day. After four more miles, though, we reached West Hartford, VT. West Hartford has some incredible trail angels (one family opens their yard and barn for donation based bunking). Also, on Wednesdays there is a farmer's market with fresh veggies, baked goods, incredible local roasted coffee, and Haitian food. This would end up being out down fall. Duck Fart bought the sample platter of food, then Patch tried it and bought one, then we tried it and bought one. By the end, at least seven hikers had one of the best meals we've had all trail. Here, we decided the adult (lazy) thing to do, would be to ride into Hanover, then slack the easy ten miles into Hanover the next day. Hiking ten miles at 7:00 PM after 20 miles means no terrain would feel easy.
All the shuttling trail angels were otherwise engaged that night (but one said he could help us with the slack pack the next day) so we called the Big Yellow Cab which could pick us up at 9. We waited, Tyler played (and beat) Monty in cribbage (international rivalries are cutthroat) and we were off to the Sunset Motor Inn in Hanover. Not our ideal way to first enter New Hampshire, but with a bed, shower, and delivery pizza, we got over it quick.