Mud, Mud,  I Love Mud. 

I pretty much give away my age and demographics with the title of this blog. Any reader from Maine,  especially anyone growing up in the 80’s or 90’s would know that Rick Charrette is the songwriter and I love mud was generally a song taught in the school chorus for grades 4th and below.  

This song would come to mind everyday hiking after a big rain storm on the trail.  It also came to mind a lot when hiking through the southern part of Vermont. Vermont – also known as Vermud. The word on the trail prior to hitting Vermont is that, well, it’s muddy.  It wasn’t even a mile after we hit the Vermont border that we could vouch for that rumor. It was like once you hit Vermont you flipped a switch to be walking through mud. Ankle deep mud.  

While our shoes may not have been huge fans of the mud,  it was actually not so bad.  At this point of our journey,  we are acclimated to many things which non thru hikers would not tolerate.  I would take the mud in Vermud over the rocks in Rocksylvania any day. 

Despite Snorlax,  Skye Stalker and I living in New England and being so close to Vermont,  this was really our first visit to the state. The general consensus is that yes-we enjoyed it. 

The climbs were challenging at times but you were generally reminded at the end of the climb what you were out here for.  Unlike Pennsylvania,  where you experienced uncomfortable circumstances just to have no view and/or reward.  

We hit over 1700 miles since our last update and now have less than 500 miles left of our journey.  

Less than 500 miles!  We are so excited. By the time we are able to post this blog,  we will likely be in New Hampshire, and will be down to the final two states.  

We have been out here for more than 5 months.  That is almost half a year.  Half a year of living in the woods,  isolated from society and the family and friends we have had for years.  

There were days I’d wake up pre trail and try on about three different outfits before leaving my house. Right now my backpack has a tank top,  a t-shirt, and two pairs of shorts.  It’s no big question of what I will wear,  like most cartoon characters where the same stuff every episode with no question.  Same shirt,  different day.  Our home is different every night.  The entertainment for the evening instead of watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones is watching an ant try to carry a piece of Ramen back to its home.  Sometimes it’s killing flies to feed to spiders.  Some hikers shared a story of the time they watched a fire pit flood from the rain and observed two cigarette butts float down the run off of the rain and try to guess which one would go faster.  This is what we call AT T.V.

Yes.  Every thing you just read above is true. We are watching our own National Geographic channel or Planet Earth daily-but without the frequent narration and fancy edits. 

There are times when we just look around and ask ourselves – where are we? And how did we get here?  

For example,  the first town in Vermont we visited was Bennington.  We were just outside the post office discussing where to go for breakfast. A local interjected and asked if we would like a ride.  We gladly accepted.  Anytime we can save our feet extra miles we do!  However,  while on the way to the diner,  he insisted he show us his house because he was interested in opening up a hostel.  This is not something I would have predicted I would be doing pre trail life. 

One of the next towns in Vermont we stopped at was Rutland. One of the most frequently talked up hostels on the trail is the Yellow Deli. 

The Yellow Deli,  often referred to as a cult but known as the Twelve Tribes (go to their website to learn more about them- http://www.yellowdeli.com) ran a hostel in the same building as their deli. The hostel cost was by donation,  and they also offered work for stay. They would also welcome you to their breakfast and dinner.  Some may say that they were fundamentalist Christians posing  as hippies in order to lure emotionally vulnerable young adults into their cult.   While very kind,  they had the ability to make you feel comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time.  

Other hikers would warn you to not drink their tea.  The Yerba Mate tea is this delicious tea the deli made, and it was this that was rumored to lure you in.  

The tea was delicious.  Snorlax,  Skye and I managed to get out of the Yellow Deli safely (some stayed 3-7 days) .  However,  the tea had quite the affect on the digestive system.  The whole day down the trail after departing,   the barking spiders were quite active and made me question whether or not my name should be Fart box instead of Musicbox. 

When we were in Rutland at the Yellow Deli,  we had a chance to slackpack to Killington. This slackpacking allowed us to get more miles in  but still stay in Rutland to meet some visitors we were expecting . 

My big brother Chris and my oldest niece Alexa came to visit us while we were in Vermont!  

The last time I saw them was in March.  We had a nice visit breakfast together.  Seeing the familiar faces from home helps motivate us to keep going! It’s been great meeting other hikers families as well . Some parents have traveled all the way from California and Alabama to help out! Thanks to Clothesline And Foto and Wolfsong (Zing and Sprinters parents),  as well as Moonbeam for the recent trail magic!  

The weather has been warm but definitely getting colder.  Therefore we had to request our cold weather gear sent to us. Thank you to my mother in law (Snorlax’s mom) for sending us our cold weather gear!  She also snuck in a bottle of wine for the adventurous! 

We did get a chance to jump in the water what may have been our last time before it gets too cold.  

We have been trying to enjoy as many sunrises and sunsets while we can.  One of the cabins we stayed at recently had a  ladder to the rooftop which offered prime views.  

Fun fact: You can be legally naked in Vermont but cannot be seen undressing in public.  We did see some naked hikers which caught us by surprise.  I’m grateful it was quick in passing and Skye didn’t lick anything she should not. 

We are coming close to the end of our journey. We have just left Vermont and entered New Hampshire (which is familiar territory for us)… Two more states left!  I feel like we are leaving out details of our journey sometimes so please feel free to let us know if you ever have any questions or things you want to hear more about! 

Thank you for the continous support and happy trails!  

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