Day 104. I have decided that Vermont, and it’s overlap with the Long Trail, is one of my favorite parts of the AT. Sure, it has its rocks, roots, and steep climbs, but it is a relatively nice path with some breathtaking views and a plethora of shelters/campsites. Yes, a plethora. I literally passed 6 shelters and 2 other official campgrounds during today’s hike! I finally stopped at the 7th shelter, but they are at most 5 miles apart, so I almost went further!
And the sights today, oh wow. I tried to capture what I could in photo/video, but an iPhone could never do it justice. My day was simply full of natural wonder and beauty. Today’s breathtaking moments consisted of standing at the top of Bromly Mountain Ski Resort, ridge walking Baker Peak, walking along the edge of Little Rock Pond (above), following the edge of Big Branch River, and even walking through a Rock Cairn Garden … which is an area of uniquely colored white rocks, stacked by dayhikers into a big collection of artistic towers (below).
And it’s a good thing I had such a nice hike, because rain is coming for the next 2 days. My attitude will be slightly less chipper, but I’ll also be to Killington the day after tomorrow, so any discomfort could be remedied pretty quickly with beer and burger.
I saw a lot of hikers today. A couple familiar AT thruhikers (Mumbles and Zoom-Zoom), though everyone else was mostly Long Trail thru or section hiking. Also a lot of day-hikers, as many of today’s stops are popular short hikes for locals. At Killington (30 miles away), the Long Trail splits off to the Northwest while the Appalachian Trail continues Northeast to New Hampshire. Although my path leads me into tougher terrains, I am definitely coming back to finish the rest of Vermont’s Long Trail in the near future (add it to the super long and growing list…).
Side note, I heard a couple updates on past friends ending their hikes this week. First, my friend Spice, who hiked in Shenandoah with me, was forced off trail in New Jersey from injury. Unfortunately, she fell and broke her leg and is back in the Midwest. I was very sad to hear this and wished her a quick and healthy recovery.
Second, my old tramily member, Leap Frog, is also back home. Her story is not a sad one, as she achieved what she wanted on this trail and decided to end her walk in Northern Pennsylvania. She’s happy with what she got out of it and so I am happy for her. Maybe someday she’ll decide to come back and finish … though, if she does, I’d recommend jumping up to Delaware Water Gap and skipping the rest of the rocks!!
In better news … tomorrow has a possibility for hot food! I’ll climb Killington Peak, Vermont’s 2nd biggest mountain (and 1st largest ski resort), sometime during the rainy day tomorrow. A snack bar is supposedly open at the top for hikers, though there’s a strong chance it is not yet open for the season (the guide says “mid-June”). Let’s all think happy summer thoughts together and maybe I’ll get lucky.
Hello Neiman (Sharkbait)
- Start Mile: 1651.8
- Start Time: 08:30
- End Mile: 1676.4
- End Time: 18:20
- Miles Hiked: 24.6
- Miles to Go: 514.5
- Lodging: Greenwall Shelter