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Imposter Syndrome?


Days 13-20 July 24

I saw you blink!

Oops… yeah, I let some days slip by without doing my typing. Let’s see… So, we had 23, 21, and 22 mile days until we took a day off in New Hampshire to visit Mt. Washington. I’d originally planned to hike up and drive back down with Julie, but, that’s not really a day off, is it? So we drove.

Have you ever driven up that hill?! No wonder that they “give” you a bumpersticker at the gate when you pay your (exorbitant) entry fee that says, “This car climbed Mt. Washington!” My testicles are still missing somewhere up in my abdomen.


The scenery was, of course, stunning. The top of the highest mountain in New England was variously wrapped in fog, bathed in sunlight, and swarming with other tourists who had come to experience “the world's worst weather.” Btw… there was none of the famous wind (which has reached gusts of over 200 mph!)


(Yes, the clouds did roll out for us)


The following day we hoped to hit it hard. But fate had other plans for us. Julie likes to get up at the buttcrack and take Giizhik for a little walkabout, and I don’t know if you, dear reader, are aware of her (Giizhik, not Julie) love of sticks, but that dumb dog just loves sticks. She will swim halfway across icy Lake Superior to get that stick you threw, but if you try a ball or frisbee, she will ignore it to the point of not blinking if it hit her in the forehead.

(Giizhik recovering)

So, early that morning she got hold of a especially pointy stick and in her fervor, managed to get it jammed down her throat. She seemed okay for a while, but then started drooling, wouldn’t eat, just stood there looking stunned. Long story short, we ended up spending 9 hours at an emergency vet clinic in Littleton NH—20 miles away, with $1000 less in our travel fund and only 5 miles under our belt for the day.

So it goes.

(Leaving Maine)


The following day made up for the previous.

We got in 21 miles of the most lovely walking of the trip. We had good energy, little traffic, grand views, and winding roads leading up close to the Vermont border. By diverting from our original route we had added more NH miles, but keeping the total trip mileage about the same. It’s always a guessing game as we search for walkable roads and paths.

The last 22 miles in NH were on a rails/trails path that Julie thought were awesome, but I missed seeing people, New England architecture, farms. I know, I always have to bitch about something.

As per our prior agreement, Julie and I walked across the state line together. In this case, it was a bridge across the Connecticut River in Woodsville NH/Wells River VT.


(Bridge o'er the Connecticut River, into Vermont!)


Finally, today...


We knew it would be a little-to-no mileage day as we had to do an online house closing mid-morning, walk, and then drive 50 miles to meet with old friends for dinner.

Of course we had technical issues with the closing (sitting in a campground, and having limited IT skillz) so we barely got in 7 miles before we had to skedaddle north to Hardwick VT to meet former Duluthian super-athlete JoAnn Hanowski and her husband, Jim, for pizza and beer.

I haven’t crossed paths with Jo for maybe 25 years, so we had a lot to catch up on. I’d never met Jim—a proud native Vermonter. He is a ski bum. But I guess bum isn’t a accurate word for a fella who has coached on several levels, and repped for Rossignol for years and apparently made a decent living at it.

Good times!


The roads, as advertised, are all washed out from recent flooding (the capital,Montpellier, is an official disaster zone) so we were unable to camp on their property. And the brand new rails to trails path that we could have taken most of the way across the state is toast. Even Bernie Sanders had to cancel his ceremonial walk the other day.


I've struck upon a plan to read (listen to) a book written by an author with some connection to each state we are walking through. In Maine I enjoyed “The Country of the Pointed Firs” by Sarah Orne Jewett. In New Hampshire, I revisited a book I never quite got through back in the early 90’s, (I don’t know why—it’s soooo good!) “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. But it’s very long and has carried over to Vermont, where I have Annie Proulx’s “The Shipping News” queued up.


I’ve glossed over some wonderful times we had connecting with people in campgrounds, breweries, and on the side of the road, but all of it is exactly what we signed up for.

(Everyone Belongs! rally in Littleton NH)


So, there you have it. The Reader’s Digest Condensed Books version of our last week.

Oh, and still no word from Bernd Heinrich. I’m thinking he may be out picking blackberries this time of the year.

Knowing that JoAnn is a bird scientist, I did casually introduce the topic of Bernd into the conversation vaguely hoping, I guess, that she would say, for example, “Oh, Bernd? Yeah, we had him over for dinner last week. You want to go for a run with him in the morning? He would love that!”

But, no such luck. Birders are a cagey bunch and she wouldn’t betray his privacy. No way.


Thanks for reading and following along.

Burlington here we come! (Actually, Winooski, the Superior to Duluth, has our hearts.)

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4 Comments


lin.salisbury
Jul 27, 2023

thanks for taking us all along!

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nanazim
Jul 25, 2023

A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of my favorite books!!💙💙💙

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buck
Jul 25, 2023

Ouch! $1000! That hound dog of yours has gotta kick the stick habit.

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peacelovehaiti
Jul 26, 2023
Replying to

oh she is, she is.....😂

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