September 17th; 17 miles
Wow, what a trail stop! I think that this was one of my favorite places I’ve ever stopped at while on the trail.
I hauled ass this morning to get the 17 miles behind me to the road where I would hitch-hike in to Trout Lake. It was still raining through this morning, but I got to rt. 23 by about 1:30, skipping lunch and just hiking, looking forward to the opportunity to dry off.
Even though there was almost no traffic on the road, I got a quick ride in to town in the back of a pick up truck (it was at this point that I noticed that a horsefly bite I had gotten about 5 days earlier on my leg, had not only not healed, but gotten worse with a reddening starting to spread down my leg… a little worrying to say the least). I got dropped off at the town market and from there called the monastary. After about 15-20 minutes, I see a woman with a shaved head and a huge smile across her face drive up in a nice, hybrid Lexus. When she stepped out in robes, this confirmed she was from the Trout Lake Abbey. Hmmm happened to get into town just at the same time, so after she ran some errands at the post office, we drove off to the Abbey.
What a place! It was on quite a large piece of property about 10 minutes drive out of town. They had some land for farming (aiming to be 80% self-sufficient by next year), one building under construction that was going to be a school house, a farmhouse looking building that had the loft converted into the temple, a beautiful, two-storey building that served as the main house and B&B, next to that an area with a circle of giant stones in a circle (looked like stonehenge) with what turned out to be an old Jewish house of worship turned into the Druid sanctuary center, and all of this was set with a giant full view of snow-covered Mount Adams right in front of it! (pictures will be put up asap)
The head buddhist priest and junior nun (who had picked us up) were fantastic hosts. They did our laundry and gave us robes to wear in the meantime. We also were given access to the fresh veges from their garden and kitchen, providing almost everything we needed for an amazing dinner, beautiful facilities for washing up and sleeping, and a full-spread, all you can eat breakfast right as we woke up in the morning. There were also two other thru-hikers there, Double Check and Cloudbuster, who had spent a Zero there resting up. As an added bonus we were able to join them for their meditation session that night as well as the next morning.
After all of this, I felt incredibly rested, as if I had taken a full day off, and it was certainly nice to dry everything off. It made it very easy to hit the trail the next day, and, despite the 1:00pm start, Cloudbuster, Double Check, and I were able to do a 20 mile day out of town (unfortunately though, we weren’t able to stay dry for very long, as the rain started back up shortly after getting back on the trail).