Day 131 – July 16 – 11.5 miles – Seth Warner Shelter to Bennington VT
In the beginning of the day we saw two notices about the wildlife. One let us know to close the door to the privy so porcupines don’t get in. The other asked us to keep an eye out for pine martens.
A few miles later we crossed the 1600 mile marker. Actually, it was the 1602 mile marker, but it was close enough.
Right after the mile marker we came to a nice pond. The Tramily took a snack break there and enjoyed the view. Flashfire had some sort of bug bite on the back of her leg. It had been bothering her for a day or two and she was concerned about it. Luckily, we were headed into town where she could have it looked at if it got worse.
The trail was a little muddier than usual. In the hiker community Vermont’s nick name is Vermud. So, we weren’t too surprised when we got a little muddy.
Besides the mud, most of the hike was uneventful.
Before going down into town we had a view down into the valley below.
To get down to the road, the trail brought us down a half mile long stone “staircase”. At that point the the rest of the Tramily was already at the road. They were calling up to me to go faster because our shuttle driver was supposed to be there any minute. That wasn’t going to happen. Trying to hurry down a pile of boulders sounded like a bad idea to me.
While we waited in a nearby parking lot, Flashfire replenished her vitamin D. We made sure she didn’t get run over.
The guy who picked us up was the owner of the motel we were staying at. On the way there we asked if he was staying busy. He said the place was almost filled up.
The Catamount Inn was just what a hiker needed. Cheap, shuttle pickup included, snacks for sale, laundry service, and near the center of town.
We figured we better shower before we did anything in town.
After showering and changing our clothes, everyone met up outside. The Tramily was trying to figure out how we were going to get to the Walmart to resupply, when Mr. Tom showed up with his girlfriend. His girlfriend had driven down from Maine to see him and they were also staying at the motel. They offered us a ride to Walmart. They couldn’t fit all of us, so Stoat stayed behind. He gave me a list and I would do the shopping for the both of us.
To get to the Walmart we were driven though downtown Bennington. It looked like a nice place. Lots of shops including many places to eat.
When we got to the Walmart I noticed a massive stone obelisk towering over every other building in town. At 300 feet tall (30 stories) , no other building was anywhere close to the same height.
When we got back to the hotel, we ordered pizza and hung out on the benches that were outside of the motel rooms. There were a lot of other hikers that we had never seen before doing the same thing. I found it interesting that this was the case every time we went to a hotel/motel with places to sit outside. It was like all of us had developed some sort of allergy to being inside for too long.
While we were outside, Stoat and I struck up a conversation with a hiker who went by the name Tenzing. The name didn’t mean anything to me, but Stoat recognized it right away. Tenzing was the name of the Sherpa who was with Edmund Hillary when they summited Mount Everest for the first time.
Tenzing (the hiker) had been on mountaineering trips all over the world. Mountaineering was something Stoat and I were interested in getting into, so we were eager to hear some of his stories.
When it got dark everyone called it a day. I looked at the sign for the motel. It said No Vacancy. Then I looked at the almost empty parking lot. I chuckled.
The casual passerby must be so confused when they saw the seemingly contradictory sights of the No Vacancy sign, and the empty parking lot.