13 Jul: We bought breakfast for Obiwan, SmokeBreak and Feris, AT thtu-hikers who are also hiking the Long Trail as a bonus addition. Obiwan is a physical therapist who told Cynthia that a cortisone injection is NOT a sustainable "cure" for any problem, but rather "cures" the pain, allowing a window of pain-free opportunity to do the exercises needed to ACTUALLY effect a cure as much as possible. Lunch at Sugar and Spice was a double treat: we met Jeff from Austin, TX who joined us for our early lunch and fun conversation about hiking and camping. Today's physical therapy with Maureen was scheduled for 1PM. Afterwards we shopped for groceries, and Ron brought two bouquets of beautiful fleurs to surprise Cynthia!! Happy Birthday Sweetie ... month, actual date is 3 days hence. Ron's felt a bit bloated and uncomfortable, and his hands are still not free from pain, so he hiked up to the ski run without attempting trail maintenance. Strange that he didn't realize that the discomfort in his hands could be related to the absence of the Glucosamine and Chondroitin that he usually takes twice daily. Ron is finally done with Desktop Tragedy restoration and is becoming motivated to resume James Lea and Volume 6.
12 Jul, Sun: Trinity Lutheran Church is next door to the Crosby House, so we weren't late for worship. It is always a marvelous feeling to be "home" in our father's house!! Immediately after church we began the ride to Killington. Because of the sun and heat and recent rains, the corn looked like it grew two feet. Really!! We arrive in Hanover, NH in time for brunch on the patio at the Hanover Inn, across from Dartmouth Campus. Despite a temperature of 89 degrees, we enjoyed a nice breeze and watching a sweet young thing with interesting head gear of a plastic bag filled with ice. It did indeed look like a hat with transparent tail. Over dinner at the Inn at Long Trail, we met AT hikers Obiwan, SmokeBreak, and Faris.11Jul: We did indeed appreciate the ambiance of the Crosby House. Breakfast was delicious. Rachel, our hostess, is quite delightful. The ride to Keene was very pleasant and quick although we did stop at a Hannover's grocery to buy some bread, pretzels and protein bars for lunch. It was wonderfully pleasant to spend the day with Beanie and Eddie. (Ed is resuming running and training and has discontinued memorizing Scrabble words after achieving a high ranking in state tournaments.) They drove us past their newly purchased home; move-in will happen in two weeks. Pappagallos Restaurant did a good job of feeding us. 10 Jul: The temperature was chilly as we began the day's ride from Killington to Brattleboro, Vt. for the weekend. Once we reached a lower altitude, it was hot. We rode directly east on U.S. 4 into New Hampshire where Ron soon stopped to remove the accursed (because mandatory) helmet. (He has taken to telling people that he believes that helmets CAUSE accidents, due to fatigue, overheating, substantial diminishment of sight and sound.) The pleasant journey through iconic New England villages was like being in a movie (on NH highways 120, 12A, and 63). We were delighted to travel amongst picturesque white church steeples rising into the blue sky, green fields and forests dotted with red barns and an occasional covered bridge, shimmering lakes, rivers, and rippling creeks. We arrived in Brattleboro, VT about 4PM to check into the Crosby House B and B before meeting Eddie, Beanie, B.D. And Drew at Luca's Italian Restaurant in Keene, NH.9 Jul: This is the weekend we have to vacate our room because it was previously booked. We spent all morning cleaning and packing up to store our boxes in Pat's car. After a nice lunch we hiked to the sink holes, returned to finish laundry and packing. 8 Jul: We did make it to physical therapy, the bakery, market and on to Sugar and Spice for lunch. When we returned we had time and energy for a hour hike starting at three PM. 7 Jul: We had great plans for a big hike but the rain started at noon. We worked on computers. 6 Jul: Ouch!!! Cynthia's physical therapy days were changed. We missed it. We took the bus to Killington and the Gondola to the peak to hike down mountain to the Inn. It was a terrific six mile hike; Cynthia was able to see the large trees Ron moved off the trail. 5 July, Sun: Hiked to Jungle Junction plus for a great seven mile trek. 4 July: Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July remembering to be thankful for the joy of living in this marvelous country blessed with freedom. 3 Jul: Cool temperatures make glorious hiking weather. Today's pleasant seven mile hike took six hours. It is good to see the trail drying up in most areas. Cynthia was astonished to meet four AT hikers at breakfast who have been slack packing the entire A.T., spending nights at hotels and B and B's. Evidently they arranged shuttles ahead of time. This, being a holiday weekend, most people on the trail today were day or weekend hikers. A family of "new WalMart hiking poles" was celebrating the ten year olds birthday. Two A.T. Hikers showed up at Jungle Junction looking like the real thing: thru-hikers! We drove to Choices Restaurant in Killington for dinner and experienced an hour wait and conversation with some Iowans. The food is always good. The ride home was chilly enough we turned the fireplace on briefly. 2 Jul: We arrived at the bakery in Rutland in time to buy several loaves of fat free bread, visit Tops Market and still reach the physical therapist on time. Our good fortune in timing held allowing us to arrive five minutes before closing at Sugar and Spice for lunch and get back to the Inn to have a two hour hike. Whew!!! 1 Jul: Happy Birthday to my beloved WeeFee, SmoochSmooch (and as she frequently reminds me, her name IS CYNTHIA). The month started wonderfully well; the female half of the congenial foursome at the next breakfast table raved about our beautiful 17th century wedding pictures. Ron enjoyed meeting AT hiker FurBall and her mom at breakfast. FurBall is hiking with dog and hiked for 24 hours (almost) yesterday to "celebrate" her birthday. She plans to sleep a lot today.