Since leaving Vermont I’ve passed through Massachusetts, into Connecticut, and will move into New York within 2 days of this post. The fall colors haven’t hit yet, but I’m seeing the occasional yellow or red leaf and it won’t be long before the views are fully multi-colored. The biggest news in the past week was that I spent some days away from the trail hanging out with my wife (Wendy), eldest son (Oliver), daughter (Emily) and her husband (Hamid)! Wendy and Emily came and picked me up in Salisbury, Connecticut and took me back to New Jersey where we spent 4 days together. We toured Emily’s campus, had a sumptuous Persian dinner at the home of friends and managed to get done a bunch of resupply and gear changes I desperately needed for my hike. Hamid is driving me back to the trail head in an hour or so and I’ll be hiking with new shoes, a new pack (same model, but swapped out due to rips in meshing), carrying some needed cold weather gear for the changing weather, etc. Wendy also washed out my sleeping bag, rain coat, etc. so gear-wise I’m feeling great! Wendy and I rented a car and drove back up to the trail in Connecticut and New York where we spent the day giving trail magic to hikers I’ve been hiking with/near over the past month. We managed to catch up with Birdie and Crow who also took stuff to hike into Mav, and we caught Hero, Hercules, Slimjim and Swish, Stringbean and Dirtybird and Weezy who was going to hike stuff into Chispa. It was a long day of driving around but well worth it!
Another highlight of Mass was staying at the home of Greg and Laurie. I met Greg and his dad a few weeks back on Mount Moosilauke. They are planning a thru hike next spring and later texted me to let them know when I hit Mass so we could meet up. Greg drove very far out of his way to pick me up and bring me back to their place, where they fed me like a king, did my laundry, etc. We had a great time chatting together, and then the next morning when he returned me to the trail head he spent the day giving trail magic to other hikers.
Lastly, I have a fun anectdote to share from yesterday, but it requires a bit of set-up. From my previous pictures, you can see I’m looking less like a corporate IT guy all the time. When I go through trail towns, they are very familiar with all the long hair and beards since most male hikers let it all hang out during their through-hikes. However, when I’m away from trail towns, I’ve started to see people relating to me very differently. The looks I get betray assumptions that I’m homeless, derelict, or worse, ha! So, fast forward to New Brunswick, New Jersey where Emily and Hamid live in an upscale apartment building downtown, right next door to the courthouse. Yesterday morning I had returned our rental car and Brian, the extremely kind guy who runs the local Avis office offered to shuttle me back to Emily’s place. As he dropped me off, I stepped away from the curb, said thanks and turned to enter Emily’s secure building entrance. At which point, two women passing by on the street motioned emphatically toward me and said “NO, THAT’S NOT the courthouse!” I politely explained that I knew that and they suddenly looked very embarrassed as I kept going in to Emily’s building, leaving them to realize that I wasn’t heading to court to face vagrancy charges (or whatever else they had conjured). As some of you know, we Gosheys love to turn expectations upside down, so needless to say I had a great time with that little exchange!
Ok…that’s all for now, but here are some more pix from the past week or so…enjoy!