Vermont! Wohoo!!! I can’t believe that there is only 3 states left. Roughly 500 miles of the greatest terrain up ahead. This adventure is nearing it’s end slowly and I’m excited about closing this chapter in my life and opening up a new one after this. Right now I’m hanging out at Green Mountain House Hostel in Manchester, VT. This is by far the best hostel I’ve ever been to. The atmosphere here is very relaxed and positive. It has been rated #1 every year since it’s opening in 2008.
Connecticut was easy and fun. Then I got to Massachusetts. This is definitely one of the more memorable states I’ve been too. As soon as we crossed into Mass, the terrain automatically changed within a mile. I’m talking about coniferous forest. The smell of wonderful pine is everywhere! There is nothing like walking all day long through amazing pine forests.
After a couple days in Mass things turned for the worse. You remember when I was complaining about mosquitoes in NY? Well this was 10 times worse. No joke. They destroyed me. I will never forget a section of trail near the town of Great Barrington. They were so bad there that I had to speed walk/run through many swampy sections for hours with no breaks! At one point I glanced over my shoulder and saw this huge cloud of mosquitoes chasing me down the trail like zombies or something. It was crazy! The locals told me it was the worst mosquito year they ever had. Every time I stopped to eat or filter water, body armor was required.
I honestly thought those bugs would drive me insane. When hiking through the previous state of Connecticut, I averaged 10 mosquito bites a day. This number tripled in Massachusetts. But the good thing about those horrible bugs was they kept me moving quickly through the state.
Mass is full of these huge lakes but for some reason they call them ponds. Their definition of ponds is definitely skewed. My rules are simple. If you can wakeboard in it, its a lake.
I eventually made it to Dalton, Mass and had and amazing time hanging out with Tom Levardi and other hikers. Tom has been there since the very beginning. He provided me and Politician with a place to sleep in his house, showers, breakfast and dinner… simply an awesome trail angel.
When at Tom’s house, 2 hikers came by with stories about stalkers. Yep, you heard right, stalkers. There is a guy from Scotland, Dean, that somehow ran into a girl named Joy at a restaurant. She fell in love with him immediately and became obsessed with Dean. The guy got scared and ran away down the trail. She tried to get in contact with him by posting these index cards everywhere. I’m talking about cards in shelters, on trees, on logs, everywhere… over a 50 mile section of AT.
He got a restraining order on her lol!
Then Mr. Blisters showed up and told us of how he tried to run away from a hiker who got to attached to him. Blisters is a South Bounder (SOBO). A guy named Zeek hiking with him SOBO. At first all things were well until Zeek started using Blister’s stove and wearing his crocs around camp. Blisters tried telling him that it was weird and stuff but Zeek doesn’t get basic social ques. Blisters hiked a 32 mile day through the Whites and Zeek kept up!!! Blisters even snuck out of camp one morning at 2 am and hiked a 40 mile day. He lost Zeek for 3 days but the guy caught up and ridiculed Blister for abandoning him! haha! Mr. Blisters was like “Dude, your a full grown man. I didn’t abandon you! I tried to ditch you because you are driving me crazy!” But the guy didn’t seem to care and hiked with Blisters for another week until a miracle happened; Zeek got diarrhea that lasted one week. Blisters is now free of his ball and chain! haha too funny!!!
Some hikers are too unsecure about themselves and their surroundings. When they find a strong hiker who is confident, they tend to get attached for security.
Vermont is a muddy mess but that is not too much of an issue. The temps are way cooler and I only got bit by 2 mosquitoes in 4 days. That’s unbelievable! I’m really enjoying the hike and am super stoked about the White Mountains coming up.
You guys will be the first to know if there are anymore weird stalkers on the trail. Have no fear, they don’t stalk me because the beard is too intimidating. True story.