Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Update - Rutland, VT (Mile 1686)

Morning on the Trail

With our harrowing Thursday night on top of Killington, we were happy to have some time in town to dry out and warm up.

On 8/17 we stayed at the Inn at the Long Trail which is also home to the McGrath's Irish Pub. After completing some afternoon errands in town we spent the evening in the cozy pub listening to live Irish music.

Long Trail Festival

Saturday we made our way down the road into Rutland for the first annual Long Trail Festival. Although only its first year, we were impressed with the 50 or so A.T. and L.T. hikers who showed up and with the local turnout. Lauren and I watched a presentation on the Continental Divide Trail (C.D.T.) and another on the Long Trail and enjoyed live music, great food and a warm fire late into the chilly evening. For us, the highlight was meeting up with fellow thru-hikers that we have not seen for hundreds of miles who had hitched up to the festival.

That night we stayed at the hostel in Rutland operated by a messianic community called the Twelve Tribes. We had met community members Ranan and Keshir back at Trail Days in Damascus when they had first told us about the Rutland festival, so we were delighted to see them again. I do not know the finer points of their theological beliefs, but I was impressed by their warmth and generosity and their thriving businesses including the Back Home Again cafe that is as busy as any I've seen in Los Angeles.

Work for Stay

Work-for-stay at the hostel is encouraged, so Lauren and I spent two enjoyable hours on Sunday morning washing festival dishes at the cafe. By the afternoon, it was tough to get back in gear and get back on the trail - a refreshing town stop typically is - but we set a manageable goal of 6 miles for the evening and were proud of ourselves to be moving again.

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