Day 77 – New Hamshire!

Total miles hiked 21.6
I got a 7 AM start this morning. First bit of the hike was straight up. At the top there was a view of the Suicide Six Ski Area.

After reaching the top of the mountain I follow the path that was lateral to a stone wall for almost a mile. The work that went into this wall was unbelievable. I was so impressed.

I got another great view of the countryside and then it was into the forest.

The Pine tree’s were very bare down below with just their tops sprouting needles. It made the forest wide open and very airy.

Sometimes, in some places, the forest took on the darker tone. It was still beautiful but I think at one time there must’ve been a fire because I kept smelling smoke.

It was very hot today. I was pretty much wringing wet by the time I hit the road. The last 3 miles today was all on the roads. First I went through Norwich, Vermont.

After I  crossed the bridge over the Connecticut River and I was in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Hanover is home to Dartmouth University. I walk down two of the main streets in town. The Appalachian Trail is very poorly marked in Hanover and I had to ask twice to get me back on the “trail.”

It was a little strange dodging people on the sidewalks coming out of stores like The Loft and J Crew. They all look so clean and smelled so good. I did not!

Live free or die,

Day 76 – The Lookout

Let us leave a splendid legacy for our children…let us turn to them and say, this you inherit guard it well, for it is far more precious than money… and once destroyed, nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price. ~ Ansel Adams

Miles hiked today 18.7.

I got a decent early start this morning at 6:30. It’s just too cold to go before that. It was all about hiking this morning The only view came from a cut in the trees were the electricity goes through.

But never fear mother nature never lets us down, throughout the morning there were beautiful streams and waterfalls.

I did come across something pretty interesting this morning.  I was hiking along and lo and behold there was a ladder. And a good thing too it’s a pretty steep cliff. The latter was securely attached to the rocks it did not move at all as I climbed down it.

I was taking a little lunch break and eating my peanut butter crackers at this Vista, when I Southbounder came along and he took my picture. I have to say that Sobos (South bounders) have been incredibly friendly and nice.

As I was hiking along I came across this sign that said The Lookout with an arrow pointing up a very rough dirt path. I looked in the guidebook and it said the Lookout was a privately owned cabin that was open to hikers for camping. I was not needing to camp but the guidebook also said “a recently rebuilt ladder leads to a lookout on top of the cabin that has great views in ” that was all I needed to hear and I headed up the rough path. Boy oh boy am I glad I did.

I climbed the ladder to the roof and it was spectacular. The highlight of my day.

After the lookout it was down to meet up with Hugh. And let me tell you the path was incredibly overgrown.

After two stiles I reached my destination and Hugh was waiting for me.

Still walking,

Day 75 – Killington Peak

Of all the paths, you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. – John Muir

Miles hike today 19.2.

Today was all about climbing Mount Killington. I started off and have barely gone 2 miles when I had this view. A great place to stop for a minute and down a pop tart!

Then it was just all about climbing up, up, up. I did pass this sign that shows Katahdin is just within reach – only 500 miles to go.

The forest are changing the farther north I go. They’re turning into Pine Forest now. I’ve noticed the path is strewn with Pineneedles instead of leaves.

The Appalachian Trail did not go quite to the peak of Killington. The peak was on a Blue blaze .2 of a mile away – somehow I missed that blue blaze. I think I missed it because I was thinking about lunch. I had lunch at the shelter below it was the highest point AT went to.

This was the view out of the shelter’s window. So gorgeous.

After hitting the shelter then it was all downhill…mostly. About halfway down the mountain I came to Menden Lookout and grabbed this picture.

When I was almost to the RV I came across Thundering Falls. The tallest waterfall in Vermont.

Then it was a boardwalk for the last little bit.

Ready for tomorrow!

Day 74 – A Long but Good Day

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. Dr. Seuss

Miles high today 18.9.

After another rain delay I’m back hiking. I started at 7:30 this morning. And… The sun is shining. It was 2 miles up to Little Rock pond. It’s a beautiful little lake that’s a great day hike for the locals.

I was looking for a spot to eat breakfast when I came upon Coach and Flip. Two retired teachers that started their Appalachian Trail journey in New York where they’re from. They are headed for Katahdin. Then they will flip back to New York and head south to Georgia.

I walked with Flip and Coach for a little while but then out paced them and said goodbye. My next stop was the Rock Garden. The guidebook it says gnomes built the garden I believe it.

A little farther down the trail I met once again Salsa. This time he was hiking with Mosey and her dog Jesco.

The three of us came upon the second rock garden.

Salsa and Mosey met up with some friends and took a break while I hiked on. The forest here in Vermont is thick but today there is much more sunlight shining through the pines.

I took a blue blaze to Domed Ledges for this beautiful view. When I take a break which I did at the Ledge I like it to be somewhere spectacular.

The next stopping place was at Airport Lookout which overlooked the town of Clarendon, the airport and the Taconic Mountains beyond.

Then it was down, down, down to Clarendon Gorge. It had a superior suspension bridge. The bridge had a lot of bounce to it… So much fun crossing it!

This is the water running underneath the suspension bridge.

And once you go down, down, down you have to go up, up, up. I forgot to take a picture but I basically climbed a pretty vertical cliff. I figure it will help get me ready for the White Mountains. I hear there’s a lot of bouldering and climbing in New Hampshire.

Until tomorrow,

Day 73 – Rain Rain Go Away

Life is all about balance. You don’t always need to be getting stuff done. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay, and absolutely necessary, to shut down, kick back, and do nothing. -Lori Deschene

Today it was supposed to rain again-all day. I chose not to hike today. Yes I could have hiked… But I don’t think it’s worth the injury that is so easy to come by on slick rocks.

I think it’s easier to convince all of you than it is to convince myself.   I have felt guilty all day long.

Will be out there tomorrow!

Day 72 – Morning Glory

Miles high today 17.7.

I started my morning at 7 AM. My first climb was up Mount Bromly which is a ski resort here in Vermont.

This is the reason that people should wake up and hike early! Look at those clouds. If you don’t get up early they burn off and you don’t see the glory of the mountains shrouded in clouds

Then it was down the mountain. The trail was incredibly overgrown going down Bromley. And then it was time to start climbing again. Mount Style was next. The forest was very dark today even though the sun was shining. Yesterday was a overcast day, yet the forest yesterday had more light in it. This is a very thick forest today and kind of sinister. A little like Hantzel and Gretel forest.

The Vista at the top let the sun shine through! It was a beautiful view and the sun was very welcome.

Griffith Lake was up on the mountain and oh what a beautiful place to camp. In Vermont it is interesting that the Green mountain club charges five dollars to camp at shelters or at their tenting sites. And they have caretakers that live there for the summer.

The hike today was filled with beautiful streams and scenery. Vermont is a very beautiful place.

Baker Peak was my last climb of the day and had a beautiful vista of the surrounding mountains at the top.

Then I got to cross a very cool suspension  bridge made out of wood. It looks so sturdy but when you walk across it if you get a bounce! I really enjoyed it.

My day ended on a forest road where I was to meet Hugh. For the first time I beat him to the meeting place. I was able to get my blog done before he reached me.

Ready for tomorrow,

Day 71 – Zig Zag Day

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. – Jon Muir

Miles hike today 17.5.

Started hiking around 7:30 AM. Was making sure it wasn’t going to rain again. Yesterday was incredible, it literally rained all day long without stopping. I was so glad I was not on the trail. But I was a little leery this morning and I did hit the trail. I was expecting it to be flooded

To my surprise it was not. Don’t get me wrong-it is very soaked but there is not as much standing water as I thought there’d be. I will tell you the rain has made the hike longer. Having to zigzag around the mud and puddles just makes the hike longer.

When I was able to get Internet service I checked the temperature. It was 45°! I am wearing a long sleeve wool shirt on July 25. Unbelievable!

My only big climb today was Stratton Mountain. I knew up at the top of Stratton Mountain there is a fire tower. What I did not know was there was also a caretaker from the Green Mountain club. This is Jean. Jean and her husband Hugh live in this little hut from May to October!.

She invited me inside and oh how I wanted to organize that hut. I could not believe how everything was just everywhere. Jean was very talkative and I had a hard time getting away from her – she was a sweetie.

I can tell you honestly, I did not climb all the way up to the top of the fire tower because there was no reason. There was no view – fog blanketed the entire mountain.

As I started down the mountain I walked for about a mile and came across this lake. It was eerily beautiful. I took many pictures and wished I had a real camera in my hand instead of just an iPhone.

With all the rain the streams were flowing. I did a lot of hopping from rock to rock today to get over water and mud.

This view is from Prospect Rock. It overlooks The town of Manchester Center.

The temperature raised up to 60° today. I have to say it was really nice hiking weather if only the trail would’ve been a little bit dryer.

I am liking Vermont!

Day 69 – Mudalicious

“All that glitters is not gold. All who wander are not lost.” –William Shakespeare

Miles hike today 22.6.

With the knowledge that this was going to be a 20+ mile day I started out at 5:30 AM. It was cool and great hiking weather. The sun was not quite up and I might have to start moving my starting time back.

My first interesting thing today was split rock. The name says it all! I love how the trail goes through these oddities – it makes it fun.

I’ve mentioned the mud on the trail but I wanted to give you guys a look at the roots that are on the trail. These little things can trip you faster than you can say Jack Robinson. They make great steps and great toe catchers.

Then it was onto Porcupine  Lookout where I had a nice view of the mountains to the east..

Little Pond Lookout also gave me a great view. Although you could no longer see the little pond the trees have grown up and obscured it.

Glastenbury Mountain was my big climb today. At the top there was a fire tower! I love these things. Thank goodness for the tower for there was no view unless you climb it.

At the top of the tower the view was 360° of spectacular. The picture below is of the mountains I will be climbing in the future. I was facing north when I took the picture.

I came across a beaver pond. I find these very interesting. I waited around for a little bit hoping to get a picture of a beaver, but no luck.

Today on the trail I met these two… Llama and Sweet Life. They started in Pennsylvania and are headed toward Maine. Although I did not hike with them, we took resting breaks together at two shelters. It was nice to have company.

The real story of today was the mad. I spent a large part of the day going around stepping through and tiptoeing through mud. This is the second day of mud in Vermont. It has not rained in two days. I do not know if the trail is always this muddy or if it’s just from past rain. I can tell you it makes the hike much harder. Especially on a 22 mile day.

One of the many things that amaze me about the trail, is out in the middle of nowhere you will come across a bridge like this. I think of the man hours that it took to get the lumber up/out here and then to build it. Got to love those volunteers.

The bridge cross the stream which was absolutely beautiful. Vermont is a beautiful state and the Green Mountains are stunning.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to see Hugh and RV at the end of this day. Twenty-two plus miles is a little past my comfort zone. My feet were more than ready to call it a day.

Day 68 – Vermont!

The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is the character of the person walking the path. – Travis Alexander

Miles hike today 18.1.

I started my day at 5:45 AM. For the first mile and a half of my hike today, the trail bordered a stream. It made for lovely music this morning.

Up the mountain I went closer to that Massachusetts/Vermont border. But first I got to visit the Rock Garden. My understanding is that at one time before the trees grew this was it incredible Vista. Now the trees are tall and all you see are rocks.

After about a 4 mile hike this morning I finally hit Vermont! Someone asked me if I still get excited crossing a border. The answer is – you bet!

Coming from a state as large as Kansas crossing a border seems insurmountable. I know the states are much smaller especially in the Northeast, but it’s still a large charge to cross the border on your feet.

About an hour after the border crossing I am walking along the ridge of the mountain and I come across this Boulder. This is one of the many reasons I love the Appalachian Trail. Where did it come from? There’s nothing above it. All of a sudden you’re walking along and here is a gigantic Boulder sitting sweet as you please all alone in the forest.

So far the trail in Vermont has some very muddy places. They do a great job of placing stones to keep the mud off the shoes. But this means a lot of delicate foot placement throughout the entire day.

As I came down from my summit I came across a pond and a meadow. Underneath that pine is a moose! I hear Vermont and New Hampshire have a lot of moves I will try to get a better picture.

The next picture gives you a better idea of what I was up against today. The trail of mad with rocks placed strategically to get you through it. I felt like most of today was hopping from rock to rock. It wore me out. Having to be so careful where you put every footstep was exhausting.

Toward the end of my day I came to Warner Hill. There was finally a vista overlooking the city of Bennington Vermont.

At the Vista site there was quite a few young people milling around picking wild raspberries!

I joined in and had my fill of sweet wild raspberries. Then I headed down the mountain where he was waiting for me.

Normally throughout the day I can stay in contact with you. Not today. I fear our days of good cell signal’s are probably over. Thank goodness he was waiting at the designated spot.