The road less traveled…

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Unexpected Zeros and a plethora of Pianos – July 7ish

My stay in Hanover NH was a little bit longer then I first planned it to be. I arrived to town many hours earlier then Kat because I was expecting multiple mail drops that I wanted time to sort through and get organized. Once I arrived at the so-called “Hanover Outdoors” where my packages were sent, I realized I was in trouble. The store no longer existed. It was an empty building. Then I noticed a little sign on the door saying that any hiker packages were now being held at the post office. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I arrived to the “store” on a Saturday afternoon, so I would not be able to retrieve my packages until Monday morning. Looks like Kat and I are going to be spending a little time in Hanover, NH.

Hanover does not have any Hiker Hostels which is unfortunate since the trail literally goes right through downtown Hanover. Luckily enough another hiker buddy gave me a list of phone numbers of people who let hikers stay in their homes, and also suggested that I call the same family that he stayed at, so I did. Karen and John were happy to have us stay, even for more then one night when I explained the post office issue. Once Kat arrived to town they came and picked us up and we were completely flabbergasted when we saw where we were staying. They have an entire room in their basement with a bathroom, kitchenette, TV, and 3 beds. It pretty much felt like we were staying at a Bed and Breakfast. The kitchenette had a pretty well stocked fridge and there was enough food to probably last us a week or two.

It felt amazing to get cleaned up and do our laundry, as always, and then Karen and John took us out for some famous Gelato! Apparently this Gelato place was voted #1 in Forbes magazine and it was obvious that it was the place to be on a Saturday night. The line was spilling out the door and they were quickly running out of flavors. After the lovely treat Kat and I were completely content watching “The Princess Bride” and dozing off in the fantastic beds.

Waking up on a “Zero” day is one of the best feelings in the world for a thru-hiker. Knowing that I didn’t have to get out of bed if I didn’t want to, and knowing that I didn’t have to put on my hiking clothes that still emitted strange odors even after being washed, and knowing that I didn’t have to worry about my milage for the day…all good feelings. Our day began by grazing on all the delightful food that was stocked in the kitchen. I had a couple of bagels with cream cheese, numerous cups of coffee, and eventually Kat got motivated enough to make egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches for both of us.

After a couple of hours of being completely lazy bums, including watching “Goonies”, Karen came downstairs and invited us up for coffee and tea. When we got up there she also started throwing pancakes and muffins in our direction and we thoroughly enjoyed our 2nd breakfast. Turns out she is a gluten-free vegetarian, and so is Kat, so they had a bazillion things to talk about. Karen offered to bring us into town for the afternoon and so Kat and I ended up wandering around and spending some quality hours in the local library.

The reason I enjoy Hanover so much is because of the pianos. You know how some towns have random sculptures of an animal or something sporadically placed around the town, well Hanover has refurbished pianos. When I first walked into town someone was playing the theme from Lord of the Rings. Each of the pianos were decorated/painted by a different club or group and had different themes. I ended up sitting at the library playing for a little bit. They even had some sheet music provided for “twinkle, twinkle little star.” And as I got up I was not aware that the bench was chained to the piano so I did a bit of an interpretive dance/stumbling. Hanover is also really welcoming to hikers, even if there are no hostels. There are a bunch of businesses downtown that offer free things to hikers. Once place a free slice of cheese pizza, another a free snickers bar, and another gives a free bagel. Its like they know all we care about when we get to town is food. And its true.

That evening back at the house, Karen and John invited us to join them for dinner. We had an amazing evening full of great conversation. One thing I enjoyed discussing most was Kilimanjaro. John had actually climbed it before so Kat and I were both picking his brain about the trip. Kilimanjaro is something that both Kat and I are interested in doing one day in the future and it was truly fascinating hearing all about it. We even watched a little bit of the video from his trip.

It was truly sad to pack up and go the next morning as it was a delightfully relaxing weekend. But we headed to the Post office, got all of our errands done, and started back on the trail. Kat and I were both thankful to meet Karen and John and experience their hospitality. Once again I was blessed with a place to stay on the trail when I needed it most. People like them who offer up their homes to complete strangers in time of need show how much love there is in the world, and I’m happy to be reminded of that.

Me, Logan, John, Karen and Kat at the Gelato Shop

Playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

Crossing State Line into New Hampshire

Enjoying some more ice cream!

Kat and I in the awesome room provided to us by John and Karen

 

 

 

 

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August 29, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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