Day 111 – VT

Story Spring Shelter to Green Mountain House, Manchester Center VT – 21.1 miles
1647.2 / 538.1

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What a day! 21 miles in these mountains! Woke up to Grasshopper making his coffee around 5 am, but refused to get up. It was chilly out and the sun riding was beautiful, but I was just too cozy. I eventually became vertical around 6/6:15. It was such a pretty morning! Made coffee and left camp around 7:15.

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We hit the bottom of Stratton Mountain after an hour or so and climbed the 1800 vertical feet of that bully. There was a fire tower on top where we met grasshopper, Topo, Survivorman and some section hikers. Beautiful sweeping views of Vernont! We could see Killington in the distance.

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We jocked the mountain on the way down and hit Stratton Mountain Pond, beautiful place for lunch and try out the fishing pole. Thank you to the guy from Bennington!

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We kept going a couple miles and met two lovely ladies from MA, who had lunch with us, asked about the trip etc. they also gave us great information about Manchester center. So we took off and halfway there found this beauty spot, called Prospect Rock!

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Made it to Manchester where we were picked up by an older lady that got real weird with us and had us listen to a song about Clinton’s schlong. As far as awkward car rides, this takes the cake. We re supplied, ate way too much at mcdonalds and ended up at the hostel. This place rocks! Showers laundry free sodas, breakfast in the morning, DVDs etc. love this hostel. Picture of me with fresh, fletcher, and figgy.

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Day 110 – VT

Melville Nauheim shelter to Story Spring shelter – 17.5 miles
1626.1 / 559.2

Sitting here at story spring shelter with Fresh, Grasshopper, Topo, and Survivorman. Got a beautiful fire going. Surrounded by the green mountains. It’s very pretty. We said goodbye to the long trailers this morning and hit the trail pretty early at 7:30. The sun for 3 days has dried up MOST but not all of the mud. The one thing that stuck out in everyone’s mind today was the bugs. We were getting lit up by the flies and mosquitoes. The flies have been terrible!

We had some good climbs today and ate lunch at one of them. The fire tower at top of Glastenbury had some tremendous views! We got to see Stratton and Killington off to the distance. We broke and made it down the trail eventually to a giant pond. It was so pretty with a huge beaver dam and a great breeze coming off it.

Eventually we made it to the shelter and built a fire to get rid of the flies. I love Vermont.

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Day 109 – VT

Seth Warner shelter to Melville Nauheim shelter – 13.1 miles
1608.7 / 576.6

A beautiful day in Vermont! Water logged, but beautiful. Woke up around 6:30 and since I didn’t have a rainfly, I was pretty cold. Packed up and got going around 8 am. The first 7 miles were long, it took us over 3 hours. But only because of villainy. Although it was beautiful and sunny, around 70 degrees, the trail was basically a running water source. It was confirmed that we had 4-5 inches of rain the other night, and it made the trail a mess!

After about 7 we sat down to chill at a nice stream. We saw fish and realized it’s about time to get a rod. I sat done and let my socks dry for about an hour before I realized I had to go to town to resupply and it was 4.3 miles away. We headed out around 12:45 and made it to the gap around 2:30. I stuck my thumb out for 2 minutes before getting a ride. Town was 5 miles away so we had to hitch. We got to the store where I got a crap load of food, met the person who offered a ride back to the trail immediately, and a nice kid literally gave us his fishing rod! He loved hearing about what we were doing and wanted to help out. And we needed a fishing rod. Awesome! I love Bennington!

We got back to the trail and were at the shelter by 4 pm. There was another couple there hiking the long trail south bound. We built a fire and talked to them for a while, they are interested in hiking the AT next year, I hope they do it. The air is starting to cool down as the fire dies, it’s another beautiful night on Vermont..

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Day 108 – MA/VT

Mark Noepel shelter to Seth Warner shelter – 16.5 miles
1595.6 / 589.7

MA was beautiful! We were up in the Greylock wilderness. It rained all night and left an eerie mist that caused the trees to rain on us. We had to put on our soaking wet socks shirt etc, but our spirits raised soon after. It was so pretty out. There were a couple spots on the trail where it was a large stream instead of a trail with half foot ponds on the trail. It must have rained 4″ last night! We climbed up over Greylock and a couple other mountains. No views. We landed in North Adams around lunch.

Went to friendlys and ate $30 worth of food. So worth it. We headed out a couple hours later where we ran into shy bear. We hiked with him a little before he zoomed ahead. We had a 2000 ft incline and it wooped us good. We still had about 7 miles to go but it started to get real pretty. At about 2100 ft we hit the Vermont border! New state! It has certainly lived up to it’s reputation. There is mud everywhere! Maybe because it rained so much or maybe it’s always like this but we couldn’t walk directly on the trail at all.

It’s great to be in Vermont and getting some altitude again! Excited for the future.

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Day 107 – MA

Cookie Lady to Mark Noepel Shelter – 23.4 miles
1579.1 / 606.2

We are sitting up at a shelter around 3000 ft, in a crazy thunderstorm, wind whipping, rain coming down in buckets, rivers created and flowing under us. It’s about 8 pm and we are just grateful to be inside. We are with Topo, Dune and Grasshopper, all of whom dodged the rain. We did not have so much luck. Just listening to the rain hit the shelter makes me cozier now that I’m dry.

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We began at the cookie lady’s and decided to try for 24 miles. We had Dalton after 10 and Cheshire after 20 and could get energy in each town. The first 10 miles were a breeze, we climbed a small mountain and it was only beginning to get hot. Once we reached Dalton, we realized just how hot and muggy it had become. We went to a sub shop and got some much needed energy before taking off again.

Leaving Dalton we had about a 1000 ft climb. We climbed it no problem but then We started to tire here, and made the decision to press on.

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The downhill to Cheshire was easy and we made it around 4 pm. We hit an ice cream shop and Dunkin donuts and made our way. At 5 we found trail magic; sodas and food! We ate and drank as we watched potential storms roll in. We knew it was going to rain just didn’t know when. We had 4.6 miles left and weren’t too worried.

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We were wrong. We started off and about 30 minutes on heard thunder. We had 3.5 miles left and our pace quickened. We felt drops. And then rain. And more thunder. Not too bad yet. The first storm passed and for a fleeting minute we thought we made it. And then it started to come down hard. Everything I own was wet, my shirt was a joke, I shoulda worn my rain jacket. The trail turned into deep puddles and the sky turned to midnight. We actually got worried we wouldn’t see the shelter turn off. I hadn’t been in a storm that late and severe in a while. Much less while summitting a 3k foot mountain.

But sure enough around 7 pm we found it. We rolled in hoping there was room and there was. Now were all cozy and I’m about to sleep listening to the rain hit the roof 🙂

Day 103-106 – MA

US 20 to the ‘Cookie Lady’s’ – 9.5 miles
1555.7 / 629.6

The last 4 days were spent at my parents house living the dream. Pool parties, Bon fires, grilling, food food food, lots of sleep etc. it was awesome and well needed. We finally got back on the trail today, which was hard in the fact I didn’t want to leave the comforts of home, but pleasant in the fact that we were in the woods again without a schedule.

We were treated to a 1000 ft incline to begin and it brought it all snapping back. Ohhh yeah, this is what it’s like. We crushed the easy 9 miles and made it to the cookie lady’s. She let us camp in her back yard and gave us free cookies. Not bad!

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Day 102 – MA

Upper Goose Pond Cabin to MA 20 – 1.6 miles
1546.2 / 639.1

An extraordinary night at the cabin! Gandalf showed up just after us, happy was already there, and cabo. We stayed up well after 9 pm (whoa!) talking to the caretaker. When we woke up she already had coffee and
pancakes going. Chocolate chip and banana pancakes! What a great start to the day. It was raining but no one cared. We only had 2 miles to hike. We said goodbye to everyone as they left and hung our til around 8:45.

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We hiked 2 miles to the US 20 where my mom picked us up with 6 sandwiches and sodas. It’s time to get off trail for about 5 days! Here’s what I’m talking about. Pool, grilling, eating, sleeping, eating, bonfires, eating, more pool. I absolutely love my parents house, and my dog shwayze is here!

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Fresh went off to chill with his friend Dave in North Andover and I got very comfortable. Laundry shower swimming oh my! Watching game of thrones season 4 because they have HBO on demand!

I’ve lost 19 lbs so far this trip and I currently weigh 135 lbs. that is ridiculous, I weigh less than most women. Or do I weigh the same as Jackie Chan? Hmmm. So much to think about as I stuff my face. I’ve eaten 6 pancakes, 4 sandwiches, so much fruit, a yogurt, 3 sodas, a salmon dinner and dessert! Can’t wait to continue nefarious lifestyle for the next few days! Hope to gain some weight back!

Day 101 – MA

Mt Wilcox South shelters to Upper Goose Pond Cabin – 15.8 miles
1544.6 / 640.7

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It was so hot last night I didn’t put my rain fly over my tent so the breeze would come in. I didn’t think twice about how windy it was getting, I just dozed off. I awoke suddenly to cold wet drops hitting my face, and looked up-lightning everywhere! Oh shit. Shit shit shit. Thunder rumbling loudly and the wind picking up.. Where is my headlamp? Found it. More rain. Unzip the tent, run outside. I’m barefoot in just my boxers. Where did I put my rain fly? More wind, more rain, colder this time. Thunder booms. Shit! There it is. Put on rainfly in record time. It’s raining hard now. Unzip rainfly and jump into tent soaked, zip up tent door. Look at watch. 1:30 am. I laugh. Seriously?! Try to fall back asleep but I’m just alert now. I listen to the storm pass, very close by. The thunder is extremely loud and it rains very hard for a long time.

That was my night last night! Perfect way to end (or begin) the perfect day. I wake up at 6 am and it’s beautiful out. Breezy, cloudy, no rain, mid 60s. Yessss thank you rain! I’m exhausted. But aren’t I always? I get up at 6:30 and start packing and eating. It ends up being one of the nicest days yet! Cloudy and breezy and a high of 77 all day! The trees are just blowing around in waves and the forest smells like pines after a fresh rain storm. So many beautiful sights! So green, pine needle paths, rivers and ponds all around.

We finish 8 miles around 11 am and chill for lunch on a quiet road, just watching the clouds whip by up ahead. It was seriously my least favorite day yesterday and today turns into one of my favorite. Strange how that works. We finish the remaining 8 miles, climbing Mt. Baldy, a 1900 ft mountain. The hills are getting higher and higher, soon we will be above 3000 ft again! And in Vermont, over 4000. NH; 5 and 6000 ft. Exciting!

We finally arrive to our destination and there are hikers chilling at the cabin with the caretaker, a young woman. She hiked last year and had volunteered to caretaker for a week this summer. If I could spend the entire summer here I would. They have a private lake with 2 docks and a couple canoes. Of course I went out on one! They have a cozy fire roaring downstairs and bunks with mattresses upstairs. Best part is, she is making us coffee and pancakes in the morning!

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Day 100 – MA

Race Brook Falls Campsite to Mt Wilcox South Shelters – 21.5 miles
1530.6 / 654.7

Day 100! Heyyooo. It’s surreal to think I’ve been out in these mountains for 100 days, and I still have 600+ miles to go.. Months really.. It’s a cool feeling. A feeling deVoid of anxiety. This also means my beard is 100 days old. Awesome!

I’m writing this blog, completely beat, from my tent. It was 83 today, humid as efffff, and the bugs were out in the thousands. I lost track of killed Mosquitos and quickly tired of swatting away anything from my head. It was pure misery, torture, but I knew these days would come. On the plus side we had some views today.

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We chose to do 21 today and leave 16 for tomorrow as it will be hotter.. Ugh. I will blog more tomorrow if I’m not dead by then.

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Day 99 – CT/MA

Salisbury, CT to Race Brook Falls Campsite – 11.8 miles
1507.3 / 678.0

A very short day, however.. We have passed 1500 miles, and we are now in Massachusetts! There are actual mountains here! This was from the top of Race mountain.

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I found a new pair of sunglasses today, so that was pretty sweet. It was mid 80s and just felt hot and bright so it was a good thing I found them :).

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We didn’t start our day until 11 am, and we were just pretty tired so that all contributed to a shorter day. Can’t wait for Thursday! Taking 5 days off the trail to hang out in Mass.

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