You guessed it – no reception! So I am updating, belatedly.
When last we had left our heroine, she was chopping veggies… We time back in about 5 am the next morning, where she realizes she really doesn’t have to get up until 6:30 at the earliest… and rolled over and went back to sleep.
6:30 am though, I was up and downstairs, arranging all the omelet ingredients in a neat row on the counter, and getting coffee going. I made myself scrambled eggs though, and followed it up with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios; the hostel owner came in while I was eating the cereal, and was both complimentary of my efforts, and puzzled that I was eating cereal, until I explained it was my second course. The omelet station was a huge hit, and there was enough left over for other hikers who would be coming in.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and I was on the trail again by 8:30. The first climb of the day was up Bromley Mt. Steep, but not difficult, and I had plenty of energy from breakfast. The last quarter mile was up a ski run, all grassy meadow and flowers; I did not see any skiiers, oddly enough. Once up top, it felt like I had stumbled onto the set for “Sound of Music”; I stood on an elevated chunk of rock, and took a 360° video, slowly turning. Mountains on every side. It was breathtaking.
Then it was down, down, down, to Mad Tom Notch. I don’t know what made Tom mad, but I’m sorry, bro! Maybe it was the insects, because once I crossed the road and started climbing again, they sure we’re making ME mad! The black flies, in particular, were particularly annoying – they seem to prefer hot, dusty, sunbaked pine forest, and there sure are a lot of those in VT.
The next mountain was Styles Peak. Just as fun, but the view was not as great. I came across Georgia thru-hikers Splits and Eats having lunch, we leapfrogged each other a couple times that day. Then came Peru Peak; very meh, I was getting tired of up and down, but I was still making great time. I hit the shelter 10 miles out at 4 pm.
“Too early to stop yet”, thought I, but I rested a few minutes, and a LT hiker gave me some Snickers. Score! But I was restless, there were too many bugs, and I moved on for another 4.7 miles, to Lost Pond Shelter.
Along the way, I went over Baker Mountain. Now, the guidebook blandly describes it as ” 0.1 miles to the summit of Baker Mountain”. What it really was, though, was an unexpected and very enjoyable rock scramble up tilting slabs of white and glittering rock, usually between a 30 and 45° angle. The boots had plenty of traction on the rough stone; often I didn’t bother with the poles, just walked the rock quickly. It was a total blast; and when I turned my head left, I was staring across at another mountain rising just beyond my left shoulder, huge and covered with trees, with a perfect blue sky at the 10 o’clock position. If I could have taken a picture, I would have, it was gorgeous! Once I reached the top and went a little ways, there was a sign pointing down a bad weather bypass trail. Understandable – trying to climb DOWN in wet conditions would have been extremely dangerous.
Fortunately, the shelter I was aiming for was not as buggy, but I set up my tent anyway, after a quick, no-cook meal – it was getting late. In honor of the holiday, I shared some chocolate with Roamin’ Noodles, who were also camped close by. Then… I went to sleep! It was a long day!
I hiked on.