July 25 Mile 498.8 Governor Clement Shelter
A nice slow morning eating free breakfast at the Yellow Deli with new friends: Swagger, Mr. Whiskers, Smeller, Fern, Gully and the Counselor. The Yellow Deli Hiker Hostel is a nice place; some hikers give it a bad rap because it’s run by a Twelve Tribes spiritual community, but I found no fault in their generosity and openness. We took the bus back to the trail and summited Killington Peak around lunch time. I was cold so I did not linger after eating a Snickers bar, some peanut butter and a packet of fake maple syrup. I am in Vermont after all!
It was a gentle descent down to this cool old stone shelter by a creek. Plenty of tent sites so I set my tent up and inflated my new sleeping pad. It’s great; not noisy like the one I used on the PCT last year. So content. I think my sleep will improve.
Tomorrow morning I will hit 500 miles.
July 26 Mile 518.6 Little Rock Shelter
A good day. Pulled off an early start at 5:32am which is usual for me. I love the early morning. The sounds, the light, the air. Bluebird skies. All day I hiked in the green corridor, rarely emerging in natural open areas. Which was fine with me as I stayed out of the direct sun. Still, in this weather I drink about 5 or more liters of water a day. I sweat so much! When I got to the shelter I set up my tent, organized my stuff, drank my protein shake (this is my usual routine) and then I decided to go swim in the pond. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to swim. When I ran into Swagger this morning she highly recommended stopping here and I’m so glad I did. I stripped down and walked out into the water. Glorious. Once I was far enough out I swam for a bit and scrubbed the dirt and sweat off my body. So nice. I got out and cooked dinner with another SOBO, Nil, whom I met outside of Andover. A very nice young man. We chatted about life and careers and the trail; he complimented me on my lifestyle, which is not something I get very often and it made me feel good.
This is one of the many reasons why I hike. Not to get compliments but to have real conversations with people. I do not mean to imply that I only have real conversations with people while I am on the trail. Far, far from it. It just seems to me that the trail brings out the genuine nature in folks, and it is infectious.
Tomorrow I’ll do 17 miles to a shelter that will set me up to get into Manchester Center Friday mid morning. Which is nice.
July 27 Mile 536.4
I shared the Little Rock shelter with a mom and her 8 year old last night; such a spacious shelter it was nice to have all that room just for us. I slept in hoping the rain would stop, which it did. I rolled onto the trail at 7:30am. I made good time over soft single track and made it up to Bromley peak around 4pm. There was a little warming hut up there but I decided to push on one more mile to get here. The shelter looked pretty full so I pitched my tent and am happy with my choice. I did go over to the shelter to cook my food and met Commando. I kept thinking, why does that name sound familiar? He started talking about the PCT and I mentioned that I hiked it and soon we figured out that we had a friend, TimTam, in common. Such a small word! Then I remembered TimTam telling me to keep an eye out for him. That’s why his name seemed familiar! Such a small world. I love it.
So now I’m in my tent all cozied up ready to eat another pop tart before brushing my teeth and reading for a bit. I hike 2 miles to the highway tomorrow morning where I can get a ride into Manchester Center. A quick resupply and download some more podcasts then I’ll be back on trail by midday. Soon I’ll be out of Vermont.
Life, she is good.