Miles from Springer Mountain: 1726.6
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 465.4
A nero, hostel bed, shower, and laundry have had a profound effect on my mileage this week! I think another way to put that is: being civilized is good. I kid (only to myself, if you’re reading this you already know what I’m saying), but after resting in Manchester I’ve been able to put big miles under my feet. As of the 16th, I’ve got less than 500 miles left of the Appalachian Trail!
On the 16th I was able to get moving out of the hostel at a good pace before any drops of water fell. I knew the rain was coming, it’s nature’s motivation for a hiker. A lot of the shelters in Vermont are prone to heavy usage from day hikers or weekend partiers, most of the shelters are close to roads or ski resorts, not that I mind the extra company, but it can prove troublesome when searching for a spot. The advantage of being a thru-hiker is that I’ll use a shelter no matter how rainy it is; most debaucherous teenagers won’t hike 10 feet to smoke their cheap weed if there’s an ounce of rain. I ended my night at Greenwall Shelter, which had one of the nicest privies I’ve seen since the Shenandoah’s, but the darn thing didn’t have a lock – I understand I’m not entitled to privacy out here, but I’d appreciate a lock!
I woke up to rain, it rained all day, but I didn’t mind, it wasn’t down pouring and it’d help keep the temperature down. I had much bigger things in mind – literally, Killington Peak lay ahead, a 2500 foot climb. The rain didn’t help the climb, but I kept focus, avoided all the puddles I could, and made it to the top in the early afternoon. The best part of a tough uphill is the winding downhill that follows, maybe there’s an allegorical life lesson there but I’ve encountered enough of those on the trail already. I rested at a shelter on the other slope of the mountain anticipating a better weather day. It’s significant to note that today I passed the 1700 mile mark and the 500 miles left mark – one by one!
The 18th was my better weather reward for the last 36 hours of rain. I’ll admit that sometimes I move a little slow in the morning no matter how the weather, but I’d like to think it’s because I either wallow in the sadness of the rain or rejoice in the joy of the sunshine, or its because I’m sore and don’t want to move! The afternoon I blazed through the miles and found a beautiful spot to camp in the valley. I know it’s cliche to reference The Sound of Music when describing a specific terrain (we all know the scene I’m talking about), but I felt like singing with the beautiful location of my tent. Funny enough I could get cell service by standing on my feet a foot north of my tent, but not while laying down inside, hmmph!
New Hampshire tomorrow and with it the dreaded White’s!