Trail Notes – June 27 & 28

Guess what! My phone finally figured out that I am not in Nebraska anymore! It must have, because yesterday it told me I am ‘Roaming’. It doesn’t seem to be very happy that I am roaming; in fact, it’s turned downright sulky and refuses to do anything but let me read books and take pictures. It is only by the grace of my family’s Wi-Fi that I am able to post at all.

So, let’s see. Yesterday.

Yesterday, I was up and on the trail by 6:30 am. I guess I was feeling ambitious after all, because I decided I wanted to do that 17.1 miler after all… A long descent down into Williamstown/North Adams area, then a climb up to… *drum roll* the MA/VT border! That’s right! State #8, and my home state.

I was so happy, I just sat there for a while to take it in. Also to rest my feet; a mile or two before the border, there was an unexpected, but quite fun, rock scramble, reminiscent of earlier days in the trail. But I still had over 10 miles to go, so could not rest too long.

The nickname for Vermont is ‘Vermud’, and I immediately began to see why. For some reason, there were a lot of muddy patches just the first day alone, more than I had seen in any other states, though it had not rained recently. A lot of boardwalks, as well, to get over some of the mud. I just trekked on…

At one point, I rounded a corner and found Towtruck sitting on a log having a snack. Now, since I had not seen him since Palmerton, PA, five states ago, I was quite surprised and pleased that I had caught up. We chatted a bit, I moved on, but we frequently leapfrogged each other throughout the day.

It was a long 17 miles; it helped to break it up by landmark. “Only half a mile to the pond. You can do a half mile.” “only .3 miles to the road. You can do .3 miles.” etc. Once I hit the .7 miles out mark, it was about 6 pm, and I really cranked up the speed – I just wanted to GET there. I hit the shelter about 6:30…

…Oh brother. It was packed with… peanuts? No, people! Two groups of Georgia hikers who hadn’t seen each other in a long time were having a reunion, the shelter was full, and I was lucky to secure a tent spot before those were all taken, too. One poor guy even started to pitch a tent across the main path to the privy without realizing it, until I warned him. It was not exactly a quiet night, or a restful one… Not what I planned for my first night back in VT.

Why did I do 17 miles? So I only had to do 4 the next day! I was scheduled to meet my sister in law at a trailhead at 1 pm. I was able to sleep in, kinda, woke up for real at 8 am, packed up and on my way by 9 am, to the accompaniment of guitar music and made-up songs drifting down from the shelter. On to Brattleboro – but first a steep descent down the mountain that I was not expecting – should have paid closer attention to the maps!

And now? I lie contentedly in a real bed, full of Greek salad, steak with mushroom gravy, wine, maple cream pie, coffee, and maple liquor. Yep, I am in Vermont. 🙂 it is very late, and I will sleep soon. Tomorrow Rebecca and I will hit the outfitters in Brattleboro, then a place I can resupply, and do a bit of sightseeing, before she drops me back off at the trailhead (with a steak sandwich made from the steak I could not finish), and I will hike a short distance to the next shelter, well fortified!

Ahhhh, what a great day. Maybe my phone will stop sulking tomorrow, and let me post again.

I hike on.

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