Day 8 – Franconia to Lincoln (continued)
It continued to pour and it was dark, dark, dark, dark. Too dark for walkers who didn’t carry flashlights (or at least who didn’t carry flashlights after our equipment dump on Day 3.) Where before we were waving at approaching cars in comradery and friendship, now we were waving to make sure they saw us walking on the side of the road – we are here! We are here! Our hotel was still 1.5 miles away and we hadn’t had dinner yet and we were exhausted.
We came to an underpass, a respite from the rain.
“Hey Griff, let’s stop here for a little while to get our bearings. We can check to see if there are any local restaurants.” That got Griffin’s attention. We agreed that we’d stop at the first one we saw – no matter what kind of food it offered.
While Griffin was googling for food, I checked my text messages from home.
Be careful, there are tornado warnings in your area for the evening.
Yikes! We don’t get tornadoes often in New Hampshire, but when we do, because of the flying debris and from trees falling down, they can cause a lot of damage. And when you are hikers in the open with no protection, it could be deadly.
I told Griffin about the tornado warning. “Let’s go,” I said putting my pack on. “We need to power through this.”
And so we walked as quickly as we could in the rain and dark, waving at approaching cars and getting splashed by road spray until we reached the Indian Head resort.
They had a restaurant. That was where we were going to eat.
There was a 20 minute wait for dinner and so two drowned rats that we were, we sat on a coach in the hallway, shivering, and dripped onto the polished floor.
“I’m going into the gift shop,” I said, leaving Griffin to guard my pack.
The hotel gift shop was filled with typical souvenirs – cedar boxes, Indian decorations, posters and jewelry. They also had a small collection of clothing, the sorts of things that people might have forgotten to pack, a warm sweatshirt, night clothes, shorts. I looked at the sleep pants , I felt the flannel between my fingers – they were warm and dry.
I knew they would add weight to my pack, but sometimes you have to suffer to be comfortable.
I purchased the pants and went back to sit with Griffin.
When it was our turn to be seated we entered a large ballroom filled with people and families who had gotten dressed for a nice dinner. Griffin and I took off our soggy hats, tried to limit the amount of water we dripped on the floor and sat putting our packs and my poles against the nearest wall.
“Order anything you like tonight,” I told Griffin. It was to be a celebration of our accomplishment. We feasted on steak, lobster, potatoes and salad, with a fat slice of berry pie for dessert. Every single bite was savored.
That night, after we had finally reached our hotel, we went to bed wearing our fleece shirts and I, my new sleep pants, bellies full, dry and finally safe.
(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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