Last Day on the Appalachian Trail

Four days ago, I decided to end my 2016 in Hanover, NH. I bought a ticket on Southwest that I could change without penalty if I changed my mind about ending my hike. I've contemplated the pros and cons of continuing my hike or leaving the trail and will leave the trail for two reasons. First, I'm not enjoying the hiking - too many rocks and roots and not much of scenic interest. Second, several events that I don't want to miss occur in the next few weeks, including brother John's retirement celebration, Betsy's birthday, the Colorado Speakers Association summer party, Helen's birthday, and Riley's return from Europe. Plus, I want to work on my professional speaking business. I think I'll find more enjoyment and satisfaction over the next 30 days (the time required to finish the AT) by going home rather than staying on the trail. This morning, I started hiking at 6:15am and walked for 90 minutes through forest over short ups and downs to Elm Street in West Hartford, VT. I walked 2.5 more road miles through West Hartford, across the Connecticut River into Hanover, NH. I ate a delicious and filling breakfast at Lou's then bought a book, Building a Better Teacher, for the trip home. I walked to the community center and took a shower (see photo of my long-suffering feet) and washed my clothes and ate a pint of Ben & Jerry's for lunch. I walked around the Dartmouth University campus then walked to the public library to read. For dinner, I patronized a pizza restaurant then walked to the south end of town and camped in the woods. Tomorrow morning, I'll get up early, catch a bus to Boston and fly home. Today's miles - 5.9. Total miles - 1747.0.

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