Ah, taking another nearo here in Manchester, Vermont. We went so many weeks without doing anything, mostly because through NJ-MA there weren’t any good places to stop. Everything gets expensive and hostels are few and far between. Last week we stayed at Tom Levardi’s house in Dalton, MA. It’s this guy who has a house on the trail and basically lets hikers camp or stay inside his house for free. You get a shower, laundry and ice cream at the end of the night. It’s a pretty sweet deal and I recommend everyone stopping in when you go through Dalton.
We left Dalton on Friday and stopped in at Diane’s Twist, an ice cream store in Cheshire, before heading up to Mt. Greylock. The hike was not nearly as bad as I was expecting for our first time over 3K feet since the Shenandoah’s. It offered beautiful views and was an overall nice day. On Saturday we resupplied in North Adams and then took off for Vermont. WOO! Vermont was where we had been looking forward to going, or at least the start of where we had been looking forward to visiting. However, I haven’t been as impressed as I thought I would. I think I’ve discovered I enjoy Fall hiking much better. I think the scenery is much better, nevermind the sweat and bugs. That isn’t to say it hasn’t been awesome. There are more lakes and ponds and the vegetation is changing. Once you start getting towards 3K in elevation the conifers start taking over and the smell is incredible. It reminds me so much of the pine hammocks in Florida. Mmmm, love me some warmed up pine needles!
So, for the first 100 miles or so the AT follows the Long Trail, which is the oldest long distance trail in the U.S. The Long Trail splits off at Maine Junction just north of Killington Mtn and goes north to Quebec and the AT turns east and heads for Maine. Maybe one day I will come back and finish the Long Trail.
On top of Stratton Mtn, probably our biggest climb in awhile. Wasn’t too difficult. That is our friend Merf’s friend Jim. He just started for a two week stint and managed to climb up following our thru-hiker pace!
It starts getting light sometime way before 5am and the sunrise is at 5:15 these days. It blows. It makes it easier to get up at 6, but geez it’s annoying. This was from the Kid Gore shelter. Normally we are nestled in the trees and don’t get to see views like this.
It’s supposed to be hot for the next few days, which is not my idea of fun. But, it’s better than being rained on so I’m not complaining. We’re expecting to hit new Hampshire on Monday! I am trying to stoked for the Whites and not be so afraid of the initial ascents. I was also concerned about keeping higher miles, thinking that in the Presidential’s we’d be down to 12-15 but several people have seemed to say that thru-hikers can do 15-20 easily. We’ll just see I suppose.
It’s getting exciting!!!!