yesterday around lunch, after i posted my latest entry, swayze and i loaded into janet's (the owner of one of the most awesome campgrounds in the world) van and she drove us to pinkham notch, roughly 15 miles down the road. our plan was to get dropped off at pinkham and then hike northbound back into gorham by today and then wait out the really crappy weather that's going to hit the northeast tomorrow. there was about 20 trail miles we'd have to hike and that section included wildcat mountain, which has i believe four peaks we'd have to summit. we made it a tad bit over one mile into our hike when i decided to bail off the mountain. the first mile was pretty much flat and in that distance, swayze had already thrown a shoe at least six times. i had tried the vetrap and once she started losing her shoes, i even tried the baby socks and gorilla tape and nothing seemed to be working.
so i came to the conclusion, sitting on one of the rock stairs at the base of wildcat mountain, that she would not be able to hike the white mountains of new hampshire. if she can't keep her shoes on, she can't keep her toenails intact. and if her toenails can't stay in shape, she can't hike. i don't have time to fiddle fart around with this brand and that brand of shoes, as far as ordering her a few more pairs and waiting on them to come in and then doing test runs up the mountains. i did some more research last night and i found a few more brands that might work, but as far as ruffwear brand dog boots, caveat emptor.
i have decided that i am going to skip both new hampshire AND vermont this year and come back next year and hike them with my cousin. perhaps by that time, i will have found a pair of boots that will actually do their job and stay on and swayze will either be able to come with me, or maybe i can find a babysitter for a month or two while i complete the trail. so i guess, sadly, i'm not a thru-hiker anymore? =( i suppose i have become a lasher, or long ass section hiker. sometime this week, i am going to either rent a car or find a ride down to massachusetts and complete mass, ct, ny, and my sections in jersey (13 miles), pa (30 miles), and va (80 miles) that i have skipped. all that i will lack after that will be the 3 miles in maine that i didn't get to before we had to bail off the trail last weekend, the 163 miles of nh, and the 150 miles of vt for a total of 316 miles for next year. that'll mean that we'll have done 1,865 miles this year. i will definitely be sad by the fact that i won't get my "2000-miler" this year. but you gotta do whatcha gotta do, and if my dog can't hike, then i can't either.
but we still have hundreds of miles of adventure left, boys and girls, so hang on to your hats and stay along for the ride!