Day 54

It was so quiet last night it was hard to sleep. I had to get up twice to pee which I really hate doing. It’s so dark out there, I have to find my glasses, my head lamp, put on my boots, tumble out of the tent half asleep and try not to pee on myself or encounter a wild animal staring at me. Anyway, I didn’t get the best sleep but I’m up and out of camp by 9 am. I walk around the pond slowly, taking it all in. The trail was moderate today with a few steep climbs but nothing too serious. It was getting hot and by the end of the day it reached 91. My feet were feeling the last 2 big days and I was moving slow. I saw there was a deli at a road crossing ahead so real food motivated me to keep trudging forward.

I climbed up about 1000 feet back into the alpine zone to a place called White Rocks where folks or “fairies” had built little rock towers. On my way down I met a guy I had seen walking south for the last week. He turned out to be the guy that has two cars and is driving himself up the trail and day hiking each day. His name is Quest. Today he was hiking with a friend who yo-yoed the AT many years ago (she hiked north and then turned around at Katahdin and hiked south). She said she just wasn’t done walking when she got to the northern terminus. They asked my trail name and I said Research. They thought that was dry and I started brainstorming other names and said Twang, because of my close connections with country music. They liked that and so now I’m thinking of changing my trail name but can’t decide.

Down again to another road crossing and back up at steep 1300 foot mountain. This was a tough one since the heat was going up and my energy level was going down. There was a partial view through the trees that wasn’t good enough to take a picture of. I walked back down to a ridge line around 1500 feet where I walked for 2.5 miles before a steep decent down to Clarendon Gorge and the road to the deli. There was a view of the Rutland airport right before the climb down.

At 3:30 I started the 1 mile walk down to Loretta’s Good Food. When I arrived I ordered a turkey and cheese sandwich and bought a Gatorade. It was the best turkey sandwich I’d ever had. I ordered another one for dinner and ate an ice cream sandwich before walking another mile back to the trail. I decided to wait until 6 to start hiking again so I walked down to the gorge for a quick swim. I only had 2 miles left to go to Clarendon Shelter. The climb up to the shelter was a tough one, but my energy was renewed after good food and a cold dip in the creek. I had my tent set up by 7 and my feet soaking in the stream nearby for most of the evening. By 8:30 I was finally hungry enough to eat my second turkey sandwich. I listened to a hiker named Turtle talk about selling cars and smoking weed. I went to bed about 9:30, glad to have taken my time today and happy to be among 8 or so hikers at the Clarendon Shelter.

Miles: 1672.7 – 1686.3 (13.6)

Total: 591.7