Total Long Trail miles: 218
I’m sick of trailmix but I keep eating it anyway. I crave cheese. I now carry “seriously sharp” cheddar and happily slice it with my tiny knife.
I mainly sleep in my tent. Travis sleeps in his hammock which he has named “hammy” and at the end of a long day we talk about finding a home for hammy. Fortunately there are lots of trees.
We camp near shelters or tent sites cuz they have privys and water sources (although the water has been dry lately). I mostly avoid sleeping in the shelters cuz of the mice and needing my own private space at the end of the day. But sometimes I don’t feel like setting up my tent or if it’s raining then I will sleep in the shelter.
We pass few Appalachian Trail NoBos and it seems the bubble has left Vermont. We’ve heard it described like a mullet hairstyle: “business in the front, party in the back.” Meaning, the latter part of the AT hikers are partying their way down the trail. We are happy to have missed this party. Most of the AT hikers we’ve met are really nice.
I drink leaf debris and floaties in my water and I don’t even care. We treat it of course! Although everybody reminds us just in case we forget. Water has been dry for some stretches so we carry extra.
After a fun visit with Travis’ Mom & Aunt (Judy and Marje) we got back on the trail and climbed up part of Pico following the Sherburne Pass trail which took us over to Killington. We were blessed with another 70 degree sunny day and the climb was beautiful and full of disheveled pine trees with blue skies and misty mountains in beyond. We made it up to Cooper Lodge and dropped our packs taking a spur trail .2 miles up to the summit. It was super steep and the wind was intense. It kept going up and up and I couldn’t stop myself from howling into the wind when I finally made it to the top where I was greeted by a boy who was shocked that we had climbed up instead of having taken the gondola up as he had with his family. We really blew his mind when we told I’m we had walked from Canada. The 360 views went on forever and the blue hues were almost impossible to take in. We climbed over the summit towards the snack bar and enjoyed some mountain top snackbar treats along with running water and flush toilets!
We headed back down to Cooper lodge, shouldered our packs and trucked on down the mountain on a lovely stretch of trail finding our way to Governor Clement shelter which was built in 1929 and it the second oldest shelter on the trail. There were a group of women also staying here and it was fun camping with them.
The next morning we flew 7 miles to route 103 where we hiked west .5 mile to the Qu Whistle stop Restaurant where we ate lots of lunch and lounged in the sun. It was hard to hike back to the trail with full bellies but we pushed on and upward crossing an older suspension bridge. We got to Minerva Shelter where we thought we might stay but it had bad energy and was kinda gross and the porcupines had chewed it to bits AND there was no water so we continued and ended up doing a 16 mile day with a very steep scent of a he last mile and I had to dig deep to get up that thing. Our packs were extra heavy cuz we were carrying extra water since the word on the trail was that things were dry ahead and there would be no water for miles. Stayed at Greenwall which had the best privy I’ve scene on the whole trail so far. The thing had a front porch! Met a couple NoBo AT hikers there as well as a NoBo LT hiker whose trail name was Atreyu!
The next morning I was thinking about my meditation group as we ascended White Rocks Mountain. It was a Wednesday and my meditation group meets on Wednesdays. We came upon these amazing rock gardens on the mountains and I felt so connected to my fellow yogis back home. We hiked on passing some lakes and rivers and I had a mid day swim and while it was freezing, it was so refreshing to rinse off some salt. We ate lunch by the river and then climbed Baker Peak which was an existed rocky summit treat!!! Also I hiked by a woman thru hiking in the buff. Such freedom out here. 14 miles later we had Griffith Lake to ourselves where I swam again and we cooked our dinner at like 4:45 and were in our respective hammock and tent by 6pm.
This morning we woke to blue skies and climbed up Peru Peak and hiked another gorgeous ridge line over Styles Peak and up Bromley Mountain for more 360 views and mountains beyond mountains. We descended into Manchester and hitched a ride to the post office to resupply and then walked into town for town for some pizza and groceries before getting picked up by Jeff of The Green Mountain House Hiker Hostel! This place is great! Showers, laundry, loaner clothes, a free pint of Ben & Jerrys ice cream (which I’m too tired to eat) and a ride back to the trail in the morning!