Yesterday was a long day and when I got into Kent, Connecticut I decided I was going to take a zero. If they would have me. The AT intersects with Kent right outside a beautiful private high school that looks like a college campus complete with an ice skating rink. The Kent School is one of the top schools in the country with an annual tuition price tag that exceeded my entire educational costs. The town itself looks like a Disney version of a quaint country town. Well, one that is washed down in cash every day. The Main Street is lined with fancy bakeries, hip restaurants and public sculptures. Thru hikers are NOT their target market and we stumbled on that pretty quickly.
As soon as I got into town I went straight to the laundromat. It was open but no one else was there so I thought it would be okay to drop my shorts and throw those into the washing machine and then change into my pants. It was not okay. A woman came out of the side office and said “Hey, you aren’t in the woods anymore and you are on camera.” I was humiliated and apologized profusely. It amazing even to me how quickly we forget how things are supposed to work in the real world. She just laughed and said “Don’t worry about it. You aren’t the first one to do that. Today.”
Astronaut, Jellyfish and NC’Ice got it a few hours later and it was after dark. They had hiked into town and found all the restaurants closed and didn’t want to hike all the way back up the Trail to the nearest shelter so they set up their tents on a lush ball ground. It looked like a park but it turns out it was smack dab in the middle of the fancy prep school property. The security guard was very polite about the whole thing the next morning and they got a good night’s rest. We are getting the feeling that we might not be a good fit for Kent.
I was settling into my zero rest day very nicely and it must have looked pretty sweet to those three because they never made it out of town. Their plans kept changing from 16 miles, then 12 and finally they conceded that they were going to spend the night here and we’ll get back on Trail tomorrow. It felt great to rest and get everything reset for our next push in to Massachusetts. We will have to have another go at Kent when we are acting a little more civilized.