Tom Levardi is not a trail angel. He is a trail GOD! He lives on the trail in Dalton, MA and has been taking in hikers and helping them for over 30 years. He goes above and beyond for total strangers every single day during thru-hiker season. Get water if you're passing by, shower, laundry, shuttles to the mall or grocery store are the basic things he will do every day for you. The unexpected and incredible thing is that he will give you a free 23 mile slackpack, let you sleep in his house, watch the Olympics on his TV, and stay up until midnight so he can pick you up from the movies. If you dared to give this man a nickel for his generosity, he would refuse. If you slipped a $20 in his wallet, he'd buy dinner for the next poor, struggling hiker that happened to walk onto his porch. Thank you Tom Levardi, you are a good man.
"Green State" has made everything more and more surreal. I'm writing this on a park bench in Bennington, VT listening to Tom Waits and drinking coffee. Yes, life is fantastic. Today I had my gear spread out in front of the post office trying to pack away my jacket and shirts I got in the mail and a gentlemen came up and asked me if I was hiking the Long Trail. I told him I was an AT thru-hiker and he continued to fiddle around his car, I thought nothing of it. He came over and handed me 2 $5 bills. I laughed and told him I did not need it, and tried to refuse it. He said "You need it, don't tell me you don't". And he sped off. Does he just want to help me? Does he think I am a hobo? Living vicariously through my travels? Either way I am $10 richer today and the weather is beautiful. We'll see what awaits us further up the trail in VT.
My muscles are sore and my backpack is full of Justin's Peanut Butter Cups thanks to Ruthie. Life is good.