Friday, August 7, 2009

Chet -- our hero

8-1-09 day 60
start: Chet's Place in Lincoln, NH (via NH 112)
end: Chet's Place in Lincoln, NH (via NH 112)
daily mileage: 0
total mileage: 776.8

We meant to update the blog in the morning in the library and then be on our merry way, slackpacking the 16 miles from NH 112 (into Lincoln) to I-93 (into Lincoln)... this way, we could stay at Chet's again that night. Unfortunately, the library didn't open until 10 AM. We wandered over to the Internet Cafe -- it also didn't open until 10. The internet cafe was expensive, so we wandered back over to the library. It still charged $4 an hour for computer time! New Hampshire's whole "no sales tax" thing is awesome (Live Free or Die) but it does make for somewhat crappier public services.

We didn't get done updating the blog until after noon, and figured that hiking would be tough. So we zeroed. We did decide to fix one of Chet's bikes for him (it was missing it's rear derailer, so we had it fixed at a local bike store). It wasn't even too expensive, since everyone in town seems to know and love Chet.

Speaking of, Chet is awesome. Once a big time backpacker himself, he was horribly injured when his backpacking stove exploded on him. The explosion caught him on fire, and he barely put himself out by the time he lost consciousness... for nine months. They put him in a medically induced coma, and thought he'd never come back out of it. When he did, he had lost use of both of his legs (he's now in a wheelchair) and most of his vision in both eyes. They told him he'd never walk again, but he's slowly surpassing all expectations and hopes to hike again someday. He's incredibly good-natured about it; he just has an amazing attitude towards life. He's really chill, and very fun and interesting to talk to. Anyway, he runs this hostel for donation or work-for-stay (pretty much whatever you feel like doing for him), so we got one of the bikes he lets his guests use fixed up for him.

Otherwise, we bought stuff for grilled ham and cheese and made a delicious lunch and dinner! A nice day off, for sure. Double Vision, Jukebox Hero, Whisp, and Gromet met up with us later in the evening. We're about to really enter into the Whites!


  1. It's amazing to see so much on line about Chet, (my nephew). I stayed there on a recent visit for about 2 weeks and watched the continuous traffic come and go. I've been awed by much in my life but not as much as this! god bless chet!

  2. I don't know him, he was 2 last time I saw him. He is also my nephew on his Mom's side. Sharon was my big sister. I miss all the West's very much as they have never been a part of my life. I live down south, they up north. But, if I could tell them just one thing..I never stopped loving them, ever and still do..Aunt Kari