Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8/15-8/16: Killington, VT, 1701

What's up everyone! I've been so busy doing crazy things lately that I haven't had any time to document any of it! I suppose I will tell you all a story from one of the more fun and interesting nights on the trail.

On the 15th of August, Spider, Sriracha, Foolhardy, Ten Year, and I pull a 23 mile day in order to get to Killington on time for Ten Year to get back to work. Killington marked the end of his 9th and second to last planned section hike of the AT; he plans to summit Katahdin next summer! It was a lot of fun having Ten Year hike with us for a few weeks and I think he enjoyed himself as well, hanging out with our tight knit group in the mountains of Vermont. Once in Killington he treated all of us to a free night at the Mountain Meadows Inn. Mountain Meadows is a very nice wedding resort located right on the Appalachian Trail. In fact, the trail passes right through the backyard! Believe it or not, the Inn is also located on beautiful Kent Pond, and the wedding ceremony is held right on the water. It's a truly beautiful place. Lucky for us, the owner of the resort is extremely hiker friendly, and during the week when weddings aren't going on he allows us hiker trash to invade his lovely facilities and even feed us dinner! The Inn was complete with a HOT TUB, SAUNA, and even a theatre room with a whole library of old VHS movies. After we lounged around the hot tub and talked about how awesome are lives are, we grabbed a round of Long Trail Ales at the bar and settled down to watch Caddyshack! Man I forgot just how funny that movie was. It was the well deserved perfect ending to a very tough 23 mile day. Now the next day is where things get really interesting.....

On the 16th we decided to give ourselves a day of rest and take a zero day. We had heard rumors of an awesome (and extremely interesting) hostel/restaurant in the neighboring town of Rutland, VT. The restaurant/hostel is called the Yellow Deli, and the reason it is interesting is because it is run by a religious "community" called the Twelve Tribes of Vermont. While I haven't done the leg work to get an idea of their belief system, they were extremely nice, very accommodating folks that really went out of their way to ensure that our stay at the Yellow Deli was one of the most memorable experiences on trail. The Deli and hostel was decorated extremely uniquely. Huge murals could be found on every wall displaying long quotes surrounded by tons of tie-dye and color. The tables and chairs were very rustic and inviting and reminded me of an old hunting lodge. The contrast of the hippie themed art and the wood/leather furniture created an interesting contrast that one could not help but notice from the moment you walk through door. The members of the community were dressed very plain and modestly, with the women wearing skirts of dresses down to their ankles. To our delight, on Friday nights the community celebrates the Sabbath which occurs on Saturday, so there was no charge for anything! Around 6 pm the group invited all the thru hikers to join in on the festivities. As we walked in their was a community member at the door handing out glasses of Green Tea for everyone, that eerily reminded us of Kool-Aid....but we drank it anyway - and it was delicious. They then began playing old Israeli folk songs and taught us a few traditional Israeli folk dances that were pretty fun to do and hilarious to watch. After that night I became fully aware that hikers do not make good dancers! Poor Foolhardy....saying he has two left feet would be putting it mildy. At least he was able to make it off the dance floor without injuring himself or others. Once the dancing concluded, they put on a massive feast for us all, including locally grown squash and zucchini straight from their garden, and blue fish from Alaska, all over a bed of rice. And they kept bringing you food until you literally had to insist that you were full! However cultish these guys may be, they can certainly cook some food! All the food at the Yellow Deli was some of the best food I've had on trail. Just delicious! Once dinner they of course served us dessert, and once I went back to the bunkroom I found a gift basket awaiting me on my bed! These people were so incredibly nice to thru hikers it was insane and a bit overwhelming. Meeting the Yellow Deli people was a very interesting experience, and while I don't claim to fully understand their religious practices or way of life, they were extremely nice and accommodating to me and my fellow thru hikers. But don't worry everyone, no cults for m :) (although they have sucked a few thru hikers in over the years). I just not sure a commune is really my thing. Nor are Hebrew names. Or skirts that go down to the floor.

That just about does it for me! I got to get out of Hanover! Towns are such vortexs, they really will suck you in! Also, Hanover is right on the north side of the New Hampshire border! I start climbing the epically challenging and beautiful white mountains within the week! I'll be sure to take lots of pictures so you guys can join in on the adventure!


p.s. I now have a Mohawk. A pink Mohawk. Spider and Foolhardy got one too. It's pretty awesome. :) lol

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