Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 6: Where are the waffles?!

Dscn4965September 9: On their website, the EconoLodge said that there was a continental breakfast here. When I walked in, I could see the set up for their breakfast with various cereals and—could it be true? Yes—a waffle maker! Most of those hotel breakfasts don’t have waffle makers, but I gotta say, those that do get an extra star in my rating system.


I didn’t catch when breakfast was available, but I figured if I showed up anytime after 7:00, it would probably be available. So I showed up and… saw absolutely nobody. The whole vibe of the place felt wrong. Usually I’d see other guests eating breakfast or checking out. I’d see someone at the front desk helping people or making sure the breakfast items were well supplied, but I walked into the lobby and there was absolutely nobody around. Was I the only person checked into this hotel? Come to think of it, I never did—not once—hear any other guests walking down the halls making a lot of noise. There was no television on, usually turned to the morning news, making background noise. The whole hotel suddenly seemed quiet. Too quiet.


But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from my waffles! Nope. Except… there’s a large stand that lets you pour the waffle mix into a cup, which measures out just the right amount to pour into the waffle iron. And there was no waffle mix stuff in it. You can’t make waffles without all of the ingredients! Was this whole breakfast thing just a charade? Did it not start until 9:00 or some shockingly late hour?


I thought about maybe getting cereal instead, but when I looked around, I didn’t see any milk available. What the heck was going on here?


I stood there a bit, confused, wondering what to do next. And I suddenly realized—I did have a bit too much food. I could eat my own food for breakfast and lighten my load. It’s not as good as waffles and real milk, but my pack would weigh less. So that’s what I did—I went back to my room and ate my own food. My opinion of this hotel, however, was sinking fast.


Dscn4966I went to check out—or rather tried to. When I finally emerged from my room for the last time, I still couldn’t find anyone around the lobby. So I left my keycard on the front desk and just left. This place really disappointed me.


Out on the road, it didn’t seem like a good place to try to hitch a ride. Cars along this stretch were moving fast, already well out of town and picking up speed, and there wasn’t really much space for them to pull over to offer a ride even if they wanted to. However, there was a relatively sharp bend in the road perhaps a quarter mile into town that I figured would likely slow cars down, and it intersected with another road that might provide more places for people to pull over if they wanted to give me a ride.


So I started walking towards town, towards the bend in the road. As cars drove past, I stuck out my thumb in a half-hearted attempt to hitch a ride, but I didn’t expect much. They were probably confused to see me walking in the opposite direction I was trying to hitch a ride! But it only took a few minutes to reach the bend in the road at which point I dropped my pack in front of me, stood it up to make it more obvious, held a trekking pole in one hand, and got to the serious business of hitchhiking with my other hand. I wanted the backpack and trekking pole obvious figuring that people would be more likely to pick up a hiker than a drifter—not that there’s a big difference between the two, but still… =)


The fourth car that came along stopped in the lot of a business and waved me in. I wasn’t out there for even two minutes and I got a ride. YES! =)


My trail angel was Jim, originally from Austria who married an American and now lives somewhere locally. We didn’t talk for very long—the trail was only a few miles out so there wasn’t time to talk much—but he dropped me off at the trailhead and wished me good luck with my journey. I wished him a good day. =)


Dscn4969The day was absolutely beautiful and I hiked hard and I hiked fast. The views from the Bromley ski area were absolutely wonderful, and I took a break on the ski lift just because I could. =) It would have been a great place to camp if it wasn’t so darned early in the day!


I caught up with Sheryl at the Peru Peak Shelter, so we caught up for a few minutes before I continued on. I caught up with Cackles and Greylock at the Lost Pond Shelter where I planned to stay for the night.


Cackles picked some “chicken of the woods” mushrooms that, apparently, are best cooked over a campfire. (Don’t ask me—I know nothing about this sort of thing!) I was all for a campfire, though, and said I’d help find wood if she built the fire. The wood in the area was still largely wet from rain the day before and I couldn’t imagine getting a fire started would be easy. But that wasn’t my problem—collecting wood was my problem.


And around a shelter, the best wood had already largely been picked clean. Cackles seemed disappointed with the wood I first brought back (it wasn’t great, but it was the best I could find), but I didn’t care—beggars can’t be choosers! Eventually she got the fire going, though, and mushrooms were made for everyone.


Greylock went to bed early while Cackles and I stayed up later enjoying the campfire. Life was good…




Looking down a ski run on Bromley Mountain. You
can see the AT/LT coming up on the left.


I remember getting the Run Around when hiking the AT too! =)


The ski lifts weren’t operating, but the chairs looked like
a nice place to take a lunch break! =)


The chairs weren’t moving, but I tried to pretend like
they were zooming around when I took this photo. =)


A water pump at Mad Tom Notch.




Griffith Lake


Say it isn’t so! Actually, it’s a blue-blazed trail
that I think is used by mountain bikes that’s closed—not
OUR trail! =)


The trail climbed Baker Peak on this steep, exposed
slice of rock.


View from Baker Peak.


Cackles (left) and Greylock (right) at the Lost Pond Shelter.
We never did find a pond, so it really was lost!


Cackles enjoys the campfire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait for "tomorrow"'s episode. You will be passing one of my favorite spots on the Long Trail - Little Rock Pond! I hope you are having as much fun hiking the LT as I am reading about.

PI Joe