August 21:  still at cult headquarters: slack pack 24 mile

We woke up to find the Noro virus guy back in our bunk room, soaked in his own piss and largely unresponsive.  After tonight we really need to get out of this place.  We leave early and bus out to our last end point.  We are hiking North and will need a lengthy shuttle to get back to Rutland.

We are on the trail by 745 with Screech, Major Tom, and Sir Poops A Lot accompanying us.  The hiking is kind of rough with constant up and downs and few flats for recovery.  Nothing really steep, just constant. We pass a really nice state park camping area with some impressive waterfalls and stunning scenery.  My feet are really starting to hurt again with the recent spike in daily miles.  Anything over 20 miles really puts the hurt on me.  The hike is manageable but for the 24 mile length which has me really hurting.  The scenery is awesome as has been the case in Vermont.  

We finally come out on the road at about 730 and hook up with Sir Poop to arrange for a shuttle.  Much to our dismay, we have no att or Verizon signal.  We hitch until a guy picks us up and says he will take us to a crossroads where we will have a signal.  It being late on Sunday, we have problems getting anyone to answer the phone.  By 9:00 the gas station closed and we were left on a dark, cold parking lot with none of our camping gear.  Not good.   Finally I arrange a taxi from a different town to come out and get us for eighty dollars.  We had no choice and picked us up 30 minutes later.  Then we were in a race to get back to the hostel before the 11:00 lock-in curfew.  We rolled in at 10:50 and barreled in just under the wire.  

Everyone knew we were still out there without gear and crowded around patting us on the backs and expressing relief that we made it back.  It’s really nice to have all these other hikers watching our back.  We really are a family of sorts.  In the meantime, time to blow this cult pop corn stand in the morning– we are DEFINITELY hiking out.  Happy trails.

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