Breakfast was included in our stay so we went downstairs at 7:30 when it started. We got our choice from the menu; I chose french toast and bacon and Bear Bag had blueberry pancakes and bacon. Amazing! We took our time getting packed up and decided to eat at the bar for lunch before we headed out. We each got a bowl of Guinness stew and then sat digesting on the lawn. And, we found out Hooper was camped across the street! Bear Bag had hiked with him for awhile down south, I hadn't seen him since Daleville, VA. So nice to see familiar faces lately. Hoop, Socks, Long Trail, and Lunchbox were heading inside to the bar and invited us to come...so, we did. Inside we heard the weather forecast...strong storms this afternoon and overnight, with large hail possible. So, everyone kind of convinced each other to zero today.
Someone had the idea to go to the Long Trail Brewery, about 15 miles away. The guy at the front desk actually had a sign he offered to us to use for hitching...it said "Long Trail Brewery" on one side and "Inn at Long Trail" on the other. So, Socks, Hoop, Long Trail, Lunchbox, Muldoon (also zeroing), Bear Bag, and I took the sign and headed down to the road...an epic 7-man hitch attempt. Splitting up would have been easier but sticking together was more fun. Things weren't looking good; lots of people honked and waved but no stops. I think they thought we were a carwash or something? We tried lots of formations: a blob, a 6-man pyramid, a single file line from shortest to tallest...a finally a lady in a truck passed us, then pulled over and started backing up...yes! She offered to take us to the base of Killington, just a few miles away. Good enough for now! So we all piled in the bed. She pulled over in a couple miles and as soon as we stepped out of the back, another truck pulled up. Chief had given trail magic to everyone else yesterday, and here he was again! He said he would take us to the brewery so we stuffed ourselves into the cab--five in the back seat and two in the front. We took a short tour of the brewery and ordered drinks and food. We were there for a few hours talking and laughing and enjoying Chief's magic tricks...he used to tour the country as a magician! He gave us all a ride back to the inn and the rain started...lots of rain and I was glad to be dry. A town nearby got hail and high winds as well. We got back and have been relaxing before bedtime. A great zero (when is a zero not great?), but now back to work!
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