Final training, final preparation post

Did a final training hike yesterday. Dropped my car off at a different repair business (Beetle III in Hudson, great guys), pulled on my backpack with effectively all my items in it that I'll be starting the trail in. Total, 38 pounds, which included food for 4 or 5 days plus two liters of water.

Walk went from near the Berlin line, into Bolton briefly, then Stow, and finally Harvard. Total seven miles in about 2:20 (or three miles an hour). Elevations were minor, so not a true representation of trail speed, but continue to gain confidence with the weight and the backpack fit. We'll see how comfortable this all is next week.

Most memorable thing, except for the number of empty and crushed alcohol containers on the side of the road, was seeing a coyote. There's a 1/10th of a mile stretch in Bolton with undeveloped land on either side. This coyote is cruising through the woods to my left heading toward the road, head slightly forward not looking around, so I stopped. Coyotes are active in this area, but this is only the second one I've seen in 15 years.

It continues, and like any road wary critter, glances to its right to check for traffic, and there I am. I'm not entirely sure how an encounter will work out, and am surprised by this coyote's cartoonish reaction. Paws stop and begin furiously reversing with wet slushy snow flying in all directions. Rapid turn back the way it came with a furtive look at me saying "I'm leaving, I'm outta here, leave me alone!" while I'm saying "It's okay, it's okay" to no avail.

This is the last of the preparation posts. Will likely update again on Monday as should have wireless connection until mid-day.


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