Coming off Greylock I had my first boot change, they had been mailed to Williamstown, MA. It was mostly a mistake, I should’ve stayed with my first pair longer. The construction of the new boots had more mesh for weight savings and breathability, but there wasn’t enough structure to them, the toes would begin to detach near the end of the AT. (only about 500 miles away, I would end up wearing them far past broken for about 1200 miles.) I had begun to slip about and across rocks, thinking it had been the soles of my boots wearing out after around 1850 miles, I looked into replacements. Turns out the rocks had just gotten more slippery, and I just kept on sliding.
Back in the mountains, where the AT runs with the Long Trail (LT) Vermont was earning its epithet, Vermud, with lots of trail being engulfed by a deep, thick, foot-eating muck. Add the sludge to the recently rediscovered elevation gains and losses in the trail and you have a recipe for legendary thru-hiker complaints, the kind not seen since Rocksylvania. (Mostly got thru PA scott free, heavier boots have some advantages on trail runners it seems.) Despite getting bogged down VT was one of my favorite states of the AT. Getting back into the hills, seeing the LT thru-hikers starting out, running into Ox again, reading a self help book from the 70s with a silly title, (“Your Erroneous Zones” found it in a church hostel and thought it was title “your errogenous zones” and just had to pick it up. VT has a lot going for it.
There is one big knock against it however, ration troubles… I was moving fast coming into VT so I opted to skip a resupply in Bennington, VT. Luckily I skipped one that either never got mailed or never showed up, so no easy forwarding. The next and larger ration problem, Rutland, VT, came late, quite late, 4 days after I showed up there late. This wouldn’t have been a problem but it had an updated health insurance card in it. So I had to wait, because who knew when it would show up and and thus where it make sense to forward it. Now for the kicker, it didn’t even have my health insurance card. That had gone with the next ration to NH in a mix up, and many deep sighs were had. I got a good deal on a headlamp with a usb rechargeable battery (and for the rest of the trip, goodbye triple A batteries) there though, so that’s a plus.
Of course I was frustrated at the time, but without this long pause I almost certainly wouldn’t have ran into Ox again, as shortly into NH he took a long break for a family event. Nor would I have gotten as much reading in, or decided to chill out and call home for as long. So it was hard to be too unhappy with Nemo, he was really busy reacclimating to city life.