The Rest N Nest Campground we are in is primarily a seasonal RV park with a limited number of sites available for travelers. It's a decent RV park and will suffice for our purposes now and for a month next year.
Yesterday, we walked around and selected sites that would work best for us - they are only five or six. But we can't reserve any of them until after the first of the year.
In our walk, I also determined that the park isn't big enough for an enjoyable run, so I got online to see if there were other area parks for that purpose. It turns out that the Thetford Hill State Park, two miles away, has a 5K cross-country trail that is supposed to be one of the best in the northeast. The trail runs through the forest and the campus of the Thetford Academy ("Vermont's Oldest Secondary School) next door. Perfect.
I got out early to do the run. I've been running 2 miles each day and 5K is just over 3 miles, so I wasn't quite sure how I would handle the distance and the hills. I'm slow at 11-minute miles, but I loved the course and the run. It's a great trail, they have protruding roots and rocks marked with red paint, and there are both kilometer and mileage markers along the way. I'll be there every day.
After my run, I drove back past the campground into the little town of East Thetford to fuel up the Jeep and check out the little grocery - quite an impressive selection for such a small town.
I decided to continue on across the Connecticut River into New Hampshire to find where the Appalachian Trail crosses the nearest road. I went through the very quaint town of Lyme, NH and found the trail crossing. There was a hiker sitting there taking advantage of the "trail magic" (food, drinks, water, etc. left for hikers by "trail angels").
I stopped to talk to him and asked if he needed a ride into town. His "trail name" was AJ and he is a 57 year old from Colorado. With a twinkle in his eye, he said he loves the AT. It's his first long-distance hike, and it's been wonderful.
He also said no amount of training could have prepared him for the ups and downs. He told me to get on a stairmaster. :)
AJ also said he was glad he was in good shape from a cardio standpoint - he runs 5Ks and 10Ks in Colorado at altitude. But it still took him about two weeks to get his "trail legs". He confirmed a lot of what I have learned.
He's averaging about 15 miles a day and is hoping to complete the trail by the end of August. He said he carries between 33 and 37 pounds depending on how many days of food he needs.
While I was there, two more hikers came out of the woods. One was a lady (older than me) that was being supported by her husband who was picking her up. She claimed to be an "almost full-time slack-packer".
Slack-packing is basically somewhere in between day-hiking and back-packing. Because the AT crosses so many roads and comes close to so many towns, you can have someone pick you up quite often thus alleviating most of the need to carry a lot of gear or food. Linda might even be willing to go this route on a long-distance hike. :)
I really enjoyed talking to the hikers, and I think we are going to do the "trail angel" thing a day or two while we are here. And next year, if my AT hike unfolds, I just know Linda would love being a trail angel - she is already planning and visiting trail angel websites and Facebook pages. :)
Back home, I completed my exercise routine and Linda finished her morning routine. I checked in with my Dad and it still looked like he was going to be discharged today, but he hadn't seen a doctor and they were still waiting on approval for a rehab facility. He said he felt 100% better.
I know he doesn't want to go to an assisted living facility, but he needs someone at the house all the time if he stays there. So, I'm going to see if I can find a live-in caregiver - he's certainly open to that.
This evening in the RV park, there is a potluck scheduled. Linda signed us up and put together a delicious chicken salad while I continued to write the very lengthy Journal entry on my Mt. Marcy hike.
Later, my Dad called. He talked the doctor into letting him go home rather than to rehab, so he's home. After I got off the phone with him, I made arrangements for his nurse to visit tomorrow and get his medications in order, and I made sure his caregiver will be back on the job Monday.
In the late afternoon, just before the potluck, we had a couple of severe wind gusts. Two trees in the park came down, but no rigs were damaged. However, the power went out and it was later revealed that the power outages were widespread. We were told that the power could be back on tomorrow, or it might take a few days to a week. Well of course.
Not only that, but the RV park is on a well meaning that the water is pumped from the well to the sites, so no electricity, no pump, and no water until the electricity comes back on. We hadn't put any water in our tank, so we can't just flip on our own pump. Sheesh. Do we wait it out? Do I go get water in our portable water bladder? Do we get some jugs of water?
We went to the potluck and one of the park owners brought some candles in to the rec hall so we could see what we were eating. There were only a few people - two traveling couples and three seasonal couples. We had a nice time getting to know everyone, but it was the smallest, fastest potluck we've been to in all our years on the road.
One couple was staying in their parents' RV and wanted to know if their refrigerator ran on propane since the power was out. We told them we'd go back to their rig with them and check it out. We walked up to the travel trailer, and I was sure there was a typical RV fridge in it. But I was wrong - Linda went inside and sure enough it was a residential refrigerator. With no propane option and no idea when the electric would be coming back on, they were going to need to get a generator or a cooler full of ice.
Back at our rig, I continued catching up on Journal entries and Linda read her Kindle and messed with her tablet until it was time to go to bed. We have a feeling we're going to be relying on our batteries, inverter, solar panels, and generator the next few days. I might as well go get us some water tomorrow.
It's certainly been a trying few days. Sometimes we go through these little spurts where the universe appears to be testing us. But we're determined to stay positive - "this too shall pass". :)