Monday August 23rd, 2021, 0630-0730
Bromley Mountain Ski Hut to Rt 11, then Manchester Center, SOBO AT mm 539.1
30′ gain, 1437′ loss
The hurricane didn’t blow the hut away overnight. In fact, I’m sure it’s seen much, much worse. I put earplugs in, so I heard nothing all night. I went out to pee around 1 am and it wasn’t even that bad, just some drizzle and light wind. The other hikers had been commenting about how cold it was outside but the forecast said it was in the 60’s. I left the hut early in the morning wearing only my dress, and was quite comfortable. My gratitude to the Bromley Ski Hut for being such a place of refuge. I hope I may return to see a nice sunrise sometime.
I was at the road before I even knew it. This was going to be a true nero, having only hiked 3 miles for the entire day before going into town. I stuck out my thumb and looked at my watch. Let’s see how long this takes. Surely someone would take pity on a lady standing in the rain in the middle of a tropical depression. After 5 minutes, I was starting to feel surprised that I hadn’t gotten a ride yet. A fun song came on my player at that moment, so I started to dance in the rain, enjoying the moment for what it was. There’s something about positive thinking, because immediately a truck pulled over. Turns out, it was Duffy, a staff member at the hostel I was headed for. He was retuning from picking up some other hikers. Serendipity.
The Green Mountain Home was truly a welcomed break. I needed to pick up a package at the PO, so had to come into town anyway. I had booked a night’s stay a few days beforehand, seeing that the weather forecast was calling for more rain all day. I can walk in the rain no problem but if I’m already in town, might as well wait it out. Plus. I’d heard such good things about this hostel, I wanted to experience it for myself. It was closed the year before when I hiked the LT.
The first thing you notice is that the building is a classic farmhouse, surrounded by ample flowers and green fields with horses. Inside is just like a home, with cozy living spaces and upstairs bedrooms that have only a few bunks. Other places I’ve been have some giant bunkrooms with 20-30 beds crammed in. These almost felt like private rooms. A more-mature crowd was at this hostel…it’s definitely not a spring-break type place. And finally, the hostel has a long-standing reputation for giving all guests a free pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Vermont’s most infamous product. Jeff, the owner, now charges a whopping $1 for the first pint, which I was still able to afford. The reason for the $1 is that apparently when the pints were free, people were more likely to take a few bites then leave the rest. Now that there’s a value attached, less is wasted. What I want to know, what hiker doesn’t eat a whole pint of B&J’s ice cream, free or not??? That’s crazy! I had half of mine after dinner and the rest for breakfast.
I thought I would have all day to relax today but my chores pretty much kept me running around until late at night. At least I got a lot done! I looked into buying new trekking poles, but as replacements for mine would cost $170, I opted to try to fix the broken one. I got a copper sleeve at the hardware store for $5, which the guy even cut down to the right size for me. I duct taped it on to serve as a shim. I can’t collapse the pole anymore but it should get me down the trail another couple hundred miles. I’ll have a spare poles sent when I get some new shoes. Speaking of shoes, I washed all the mud off mine and was amazed at how little wear they show after over 500 miles of rugged trail. They almost look new. None of the other hikers at the hostel would believe me when I told them the shoes’ history. I wouldn’t believe me either. The same model of shoes that I used on the GET were pretty trashed by this time…all that cross-country hiking.
I met so many awesome hikers at the hostel that I just wanted to spend all my time there. I went to town for resupply and to have a nice dinner, but ended up getting the meal to go and bring back to the hostel. The Thai restaurant was packed, as it’s one of the few in town that’s open on a Monday. But at least I finally got the pad thai that I’ve been craving for weeks now, plus I had a stupid-expensive martini while I was waiting for the take-away…all a pre-birthday treat to myself since I expect to be on the trail for the date.
All in all it was a great nero in one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed at. I would definitely recommend a stop here and hope to come back to visit again. Jeff and Duffy do an incredible job at running a clean, efficient, comfortable, and organized business. It has every hiking amenity you could imagine, and more that you can’t. A+++