I'm the creator of the Guthook's Hiking Guides apps. I live in Maine, where I run away to the White Mountains and Maine woods for frequent doses of wilderness.
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The afternoon is a long walk through rolling pastures, with a few lovely distractions. In addition to our usual neighbors of sheep, we also have a bunch of hounds returning from a hunt this afternoon. A few of them got stuck trying to find a way over a stone wall, so I hopped over and lifted them over. One jumped right back onto the wrong side. Dummy.
Meet Vince. I hiked with Vince yesterday, and he's taking a zero day today as well. His feet are in rough shape, with blisters that make everyone around recoil in shock ("Oh my god! How can you still walk?"). They're pretty ugly.
He's been wearing his boots for the hike, and I'm not one to try convincing someone to switch to sneakers if they're happy with their boots, but he does seem to be limping pretty bad. And there just happens to be a New Balance Factory Outlet a quarter mile down the road. Later in the afternoon, I decide to encourage him to check it out. We start down the street, but within a few steps he's limping so bad that he decides to just take his boots off and walk the rest of the way in his socks. I notice he's pulling pretty hard to pop those boots off.
I help him pick out a pair of sneakers that looks like they fit him very comfortably. His boots, size 8, go in the pack for the next day of hiking. His new sneakers, size 11(!), fit much better. Look at that happy hiker!
And ruins! This is Shap Abbey, or at least its remains. It's hard to convey how impressive these structures are-- 800 years old, and still standing despite being ransacked by the villagers over the centuries. There used to be a huge compound behind this, but now all of the stones are in houses nearby (it was easier than quarrying new stone for new houses). Maybe it's the fact that I got here really late in the day, so the sun was hitting it just right.