Day 4 – Colebrook to North Stratford
Another blister! Poor, poor Griffin.
I thought we had done a good job of preventive foot care. We’d both gotten fitted for good quality, lightweight hiking shoes (although at the last minute I switched to a pair of running shoes.) We were both wearing high end wool socks that were washed out each night and allowed to dry during the day while we wore a second pair. We had a good pair of insoles and morning and night we slathered HikeGoo – which was a thick lanolin based cream on our feet.
While I didn’t have any blisters, Griffin now had two. This was not good. Not only were they painful, but if they got infected, Griffin, because of his suppressed immune system, could get very sick.
I dug out my bandages, tape and now the tube of antibiotic cream (they had moved from the bottom of my pack to the “daily used” top portion after the first blister) and held them out as Griffin took the supplies one by one and applied them to his feet. There wasn’t much more we could do for now. As soon as we saw a pharmacy, we’d have to stop in and get more supplies.
“Do you want to stop the walk?” I asked Griffin. Although we were finally feeling stronger, we couldn’t take those blisters lightly.
“Nope. We’re going to keep going.” I was never going to question determination.
When there is no other option, there is no other option. So with Griffin bandaged and the rain still falling, we left the religious statues in the park and continued on our way.
We passed trees – lots and lots of trees. So many trees. We marveled at the early settlers who had to chop down the trees and clear the land in order to build houses or even grow food. Along with trees, the other crop that New Hampshire grows best is rocks. It had to have been hard, back breaking work that required a mindset of stone (granite, perhaps?) to clear this land. It would have been so easy to give up and move on, but our early settlers didn’t. They came, they dug in, and they stayed.
From a New Hampshire state website:
“New Hampshire’s forests have played a major part in the state’s history. The first job of the early settlers of New Hampshire (1620s) was to clear some of the forest to plant and raise the food crops that would keep them alive. The real beginning of New Hampshire’s logging industry was in 1634. That was the year the first shipment of tall pines arrived in England to be made into masts for the ships of the Kinq’s Navy. The tall pine trade with England ended with the American Revolution, but the forests of New Hampshire continued to be cleared for farmland right up through the 1840s and 1850s. By then, about 70% of the land south of the White Mountains had been cleared.”
Griffin and I passed a cornfield. That’s right, a cornfield in the mountains. Having spent the last 3 days walking this forested and rock-filled land, we had a new found respect for our mountain farmers. It’s not easy being a farmer these days, it’s especially not easy when you have to constantly fight the land for space.
We sat down by the side of the road for a break, corn field on one side, granite mountain with trees on the other. It was an amazing juxtaposition between land and man. But it showed how us Granite Staters rolled, while the path might not be easy, that never stopped us.
Griffin’s phone beeped, apparently we were in an internet pocket and Logan had sent a text – they were only a few minutes away.
We have a Kia – cherry red, can’t miss it. Every time a red car passed us we’d excitedly yell out “That’s them.” – even when the red car was actually a red tractor trailer. Enthusiasm knows no bounds when a hot lunch is dangled before your eyes.
Eventually the red car we spotted on the road was indeed Trevor and Logan. They pulled over and after a greeting and a few hugs (and a few more from mom) we got into the car to drive to the nearest restaurant and to find a pharmacy. Trevor couldn’t help but let us know of his annoyance at spending one of his only free days before college on the road instead of with his friends.
“I had to drive 3 hours to see you,” he grumbled.
“Yeah, well we had to walk 3 and a half days to see you. Let’s go get lunch.”
(Here’s some information on why we took this trip.)
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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