There really isn’t any better hiking music for me than Dolly Parton. I’m not a country music fan but after recently listing to the podcast Dolly Parton‘s America, I’ve been really interested in her music. Her voice and lyrics are so perfect for the Trail. She was born and raised in Appalachia and maybe that is why she seems so perfect for me now.
I was listening to her essentials today when I came to a Trail intersection and wasn’t paying much attention to the blazes. I got off course and ended up backtracking southbound for over two miles before I finished a nasty climb up to a beautiful field of thistles. Damn it. I’ve been to this beautiful field of thistles before – just an hour ago. I felt pretty silly but Dolly led me astray. Her songs just take me somewhere else and this time it took me in the exact wrong direction!
It wasn’t a great day to add extra miles. We were pushing over 28 miles to get into Hanover, New Hampshire and this little detour took me over 30 for sure. There is a big difference to me between doing a 20-25 mile day and anything more than that. It is really about having enough down time in camp to recover. If I can get in by 7:00 or so then I feel pretty good the next day. Tonight we got into Hanover around 8:30 and found out there wasn’t anywhere to stay.
In a normal year, the Dartmouth Outing Club invites thru hikers to camp in the green space on the main campus quad. Because of the virus this year, they are not allowing this and all of the hotels in town are closed. I saw an add for an inn that was still open in Norwich and thankfully they had space available for us at the last minute and came and picked us up. It was great to get a shower and a bed for the night and not really sure what we would have done otherwise.
We are officially in the next to the last state – New Hampshire. I’m going to take the next two days a little easier to get rested up for the White Mountain range. I’m looking forward to it but they are going to be a challenge for sure.