Miles from Springer Mountain: 1652.9
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 539.1
The last two days have given rise to two questions: Where did the good weather go? and Who decided that Vermont should be the muddiest place on Earth? The amount of bugs and mud has been astounding, the rain falls hard but not as voraciously as the bugs bite. Mosquitoes and Black Flies may be the death of me, as long as it’s after I reach Katahdin!
The 12th was my first full day in Vermont and I think I’ve got a pretty good idea what deal the devil made with the trail in VT. The mud never ends, but finally with all the hard work of walking finally comes some completely beautiful views. I’m dirty than I’ve been all trail, but I’m reaping some rewards at the top of some arduous climbs. In the past few states the views have been hard to come by, as a midwestern kid I never fathomed how mountainous Vermont was! One neat thing is that most of the mountains climbed on the trail pull double duty as ski slopes in the winter – one of the hikers I’ve been hiking with the last few days comes up here every winter for the “rad” ski slopes! I even got some trail magic of local donuts, candy, and ice cold water.
The 13th was as foggy and wet as can be! I had a tough climb up Stratton Mountain, but I didn’t even get to enjoy the views due to the weather. Stratton Mt. has some vital AT significance, its peak is where in the 1930’s a man named Benton Mackaye came up with the idea for a scenic trail that would become the Appalachian Trail. I’m glad he had a better time at the summit, with my experience at the top I’d invent a scenic trail indoors! I pushed onwards and ended my day at Spruce Peak Shelter.
After almost three weeks of no laundry and only one shower during that time frame I was ready for a break. I woke up on the 14th, walked 2.8 miles to the trailhead and hitched a ride into Manchester Center, VT. I had an odd craving for Mcdonald’s Hot Cakes, a meal I haven’t had since college in 2014. I filled my craving, resupplied, relaxed at Starbucks, then headed to my hostel for the night – the Green Mountain House, I finished all my chores, recharged my batteries, relaxed, and ate so much my stomach hurt. It was a great day to take a break from the trail, I needed to fully clean up and I’ve been in good spirits lately, I didn’t wanna crush those!
Vermont is almost half over! If it weren’t for the mud and bugs this may be my favorite AT state, with the impending rain I don’t think the mud is going away but maybe the bugs will be beaten back. I’m closing in on one month left, the end is in sight!