We woke with the sun and birdsong around 6 am. I turned over and put a sock over my eyes to get just a little more sleep. Lucy had a schedule to keep so we rolled out about 7:30 and ate breakfast. Lucy was on her way down the mountain by 8:15 and I was packed up and on my way up the mountain by 9:30. I reached the top of Bromley mountain 30 minutes later. Bromley is a ski mountain (like most of the mountain tops in VT) so there was a lot of machinery at the top. I didn’t stay long, the machinery put me off. Today was going to be a long day anyway. I needed to push on.
Down Bromley Mountain and then up 1000 feet to Styles Peak. There was a tiny view here but the alpine zone up there was what I enjoyed the most. Pine trees blowing with the wind and lush green moss covering most of the rocks and roots. Down Styles Peak and into a flatter part of the day with wooden planks to walk around Griffith Lake and mud pits.
Right before Griffith Lake I stopped for a snack break at Peru Peak Shelter. I had done 8 miles so far and planned to go 10 more. There was a hiker there named Kibs taking a break too. He said, “See my shoulder?” as he tugged his shirt collar down to revel and purple bruise. I said, “Ouch, what happened?” “I fell and broke my shoulder. I can’t even get my prosthetic on” he said. Kibs was an amputee. Kibs had hiked out of Manchester that morning and decided to stop at the shelter for the day since he wasn’t feeling quite like himself after the hospital drugs. I said, “It might be a good idea to take a break off the trail.” Kibs said, “I told all these people I was doing this.” I said, “We all did.” A few days later I learned Kibs had broken his ankle on the trail and was rescued by the fire department with the help of another hiker.
I said good luck to Kibs and kept trucking hoping to keep my energy long enough to reach my planned destination but I had some bail out points coming up if I had a meltdown. I started listening to Harry Potter for a distraction. Then came an unexpected rock scramble up Baker Peak. I had done about 11 miles at this point and was starting to loose steam. This was steep and tricky to navigate because of the angled rock. The view were worth it though and it reminded me of what I’m headed for in New Hampshire.
The trail calmed down soon after this to a rolling dirt path downward to a Big Branch Creek. My feet were feeling quite swollen by this point and my knees were done. My toe sock liners seemed to be pinching the spaces in between my toes. It hurt. The shelters I passed had no one around at about 5 o’clock and so I pushed on to Little Rock Pond arriving by 6:30 and I’m so glad I did. It was a beautiful and peaceful spot aside from the bugs trying to bite you in the face. I set up my tent and began making dinner as soon as I could and ate chili mac with pepperoni by the pond. I was ravenous. I probably hadn’t stopped enough to eat today. I’m tired of eating snack bars anyway. There were about 5 other hikers there, one named Rascal I had met at Woods Hole in Virginia. I hung my food bag and went to sleep, proud of my 18 mile day but hurting.
Mile: 1654.9 – 1672.7 (17.8)