From Springer Mountain Georgia to Mt. Katahdin Maine

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vermont Part One

At the Vermont border!

Making it into Vermont felt like quite an accomplishment - only three states to go! The AT in Vermont is shared with the Long Trail, the oldest continuous footpath in the US and an inspiration for the AT.

After hitting the border, we hiked a bit before a long snack break by a stream.  We passed by Congdon Shelter around 6pm and decided to push on further to get as close to Bennington as possible for our morning resupply. For most of the trip so far, finding a stealth camp spot was a breeze. The trail had been relatively flat and the forest wasn't very dense. We found this wasn't the case in VT - the trail was all up or all down, and very dense. Wherever it was flat, it was also muddy. I was doubtful, but we ended up finding a spot to pitch our tents before it got dark. 
small stealth spot

sick Gribley
We got up early the next morning to head into town. Gribley started to feel a cold coming on, which wasn't a good sign. We'd all stayed pretty healthy the whole trip, despite our sugary, processed diets & consistent over excursion, but at that point we were all starting to feel pretty run down. Anyway, we had an easy hitch into town - a nice guy with two little blond boys. We did laundry, bought food, and then were disappointed to learn that the rec center mentioned in our books was going through renovations and would not be letting hikers take showers there.. oh well! After picking up a really sweet package at the Post Office from BeBop, a nice man offered to drive us back to the trail. Gribley and I had been ahead of Tater & Pants, but when we got back to the trail, Tater was there! (Pants was still a bit behind). We all took a long break by a river before hiking uphill a few miles toward the Goddard Shelter. Vermont proved to be tougher than us, and we pulled up short at a tiny stealth spot with a fire ring. I love having fires on the trail and usually we are too tired to make the effort. Unfortunately that night, Gribley was up all night coughing & trying to ride out his cold. I realized how easy it is to take for granted having a bed, water, and medicine at home. He sounded pretty miserable in his tent and just tried to drink water all night.  
The next morning, Pants caught up with us and we hiked up Glastenbury Mtn, which had a cool observation deck with a great view. We noticed the trail was getting much more crowded at this point - lots of hikers doing the Long Trail, AT "SoBos" (SouthBounders), and then some folks who decided to skip PA and other states with intentions of returning to them after summiting Katahdin. This crowding seemed most evident the night we stayed at Story Spring shelter. We barely found tent sites, as the shelter & land around it was totally packed. I found one tiny tent spot, that required a log in my vestibule, but hey - it worked!

Glastenbury Mtn
We left early in the morning to hike up Stratton Mtn. It was a gorgeous day and we even had a chance to swim in Stratton Pond. We stopped a bit early at William B. Douglas Shelter - it was half a mile off trail, but really beautiful. Its rare that all four of us (Gribley, Pants, Tater, & me) actually all camp at the same camp site, so it was fun to have a fire and all hang out together. On a sad note, I think I had caught whatever Gribley had and was starting to feel under the weather. I went to bed early, drank tea & lots of water, but still woke up with a sore throat. We were all heading into Manchester Center in the morning for groceries, and Gribley and I decided to stay a night in town to recover from our colds. We found a really cozy B&B - Sutton's Place. I napped all afternoon and Gribley watched the Olympics downstairs.
Ok folks, I'll try to catch up on VT part 2 from Stratton, Maine - our next town stop. We will hopefully arrive there on Friday. Happy trails!

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