6-27-09 day 25
start: Rutherford Shelter, NJ
end: The Outhouse in Unionville, NY
daily mileage: 11.4
total mileage: 322.2
Today was incredible... a relatively short hike to the coolest place on the trail. New Jersey dips into New York for just a tad on the trail (it then returns to Jersey before entering NY for real 25 miles later). We stopped in Unionville, the NY town the trail dips into, because we'd heard from a fellow hiker earlier on that Unionville's old mayor was super friendly to hikers and would put us up for the night.
We were blown away. We entered the General Store where she called Butch, an older guy who came down to pick us up. We weren't sure what to expect, even as he explained the house rules: basically, the house is yours to do with what you want, but be sure to recycle the beer cans and we'll charge you a quarter for every word over three syllables you use! This "four syllable" rule was kind of the opposite of the normal "four letter" rule... since Butch swore freely explaining these rules to us. We got to the house and met Dick, the owner. It turned out that the house was actually Dick's real house, and he told us to help himself to his beer, his shower, his laundry machine, and that he'd feed us dinner AND breakfast! The craziest part of this generosity is the scale of it... he does this full time for through hikers, and just tonight, there were another 12 people in his house along with us. It was amazing how good the food was, how great his hospitality, and generally, HOW FREE IT WAS! He was an amazing guy, and I could ramble about him for forever. He, Butch, and Bill were the three guys in charge of the operation.
After dinner, he showed us a motivational movie about how we can definitely finish our hike if we stick to it, and then let us free to watch TV or movies or whatever. We're really grateful to him!