Woodstock Stage Road 10/2, 462.7


I did my first slack pack with my bud from Dartmouth, Andrew Mertens, today. Slack packing is essentially day hiking, carrying only that which I need for the day, water, food, rain gear. With a pack weighing about seven or eight pounds, we flew, doing twenty-one miles in less than seven hours. And the best part was that I got to return back to Hanover for a warm shower, and I crossed another state line!

We ran much of the hike and the rain held off for most of the day.

When we finished, we realized we were a couple miles from the road we originally planned on hitting. Realizing neither of us had cell reception, Andrew walked to a house nearby to borrow their phone. For twenty minutes I sat in the dark in the drizzling rain thinking my friend had been murdered by Vermont hicks.

When I saw a bobbing headlamp on the road coming toward me I shouted “Andrew?”….no response. I stand up, ready to run back onto the trail. “Andrew!”


Meanwhile the family had been offering him apple pie with their wood furnace warming him up and I had been imagining all the horrible things the man with a chain saw had done to him.

Andrew’s friend Nancy spent her Friday evening driving out to Woodstock, Vermont to pick us up and brought both of us dinner! found us soon enough and we were all standing in the polite people’s house eating warm apple pie and ice cream. I love trail magic!

Can you imagine how hard it was to get out of Andrew’s car the next day and continue my trek in the Vermont mud and rain?

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