Friday, July 31, 2015

Day 120- Three Hour Rain Delay

Clarendon Gorge Stealthsite(1683.4) to Tucker-Johnson Campsite(1702.0) 18.6 Miles 

I think I've said this before, but I'll say it again, everyday can't be rainbows, puppies, and unicorns. It started out as a great day, but then, like the trail itself, was full of ups and downs. 

The days are getting shorter and I've been waking up a little later every day. I didn't leave camp until 7:45. I started the morning off with a nasty straight uphill climb. I gained 500' of elevation over .3 miles, up and over rocks. 
Fun, fun, fun

Then I went back down 300', only to go back up 300' of steep terrain. Luckily, the trail flattened out for a little while. I was actually enjoying a gradual downhill through a nice forest when I passed a SOBO hiker. She told me about some trail magic coming up. That greatly improved my mood. I hustled along, with thoughts of ice cold soda. Before I made it to the magic, I was greeted with my only view of the day.
Rutland Airport

The trail magic ended up being a bag of sodas left in a stream. They weren't very cold, but I was still thrilled to have a Mt. Dew. 

As I was sitting on a rock enjoying my soda and eating second breakfast, Stink Jacket and Pacman emerged from the woods. I hadn't seen them for a few days and it was nice to catch up. They had stayed at a hostel in Rutland the night before. It sounded like an interesting place, but I was glad I didn't stop there.  It was managed by some kind of cult. 

I decided to hike with the boys again. They really challenge me and I like that. After a few hours we came to a pretty significant milestone. We stopped briefly to take pictures and celebrate. 
500 Miles to go

I vividly remember where I was for the first 500 mile mark, Greyson Highlands. 
First 500 miles

After a short celebration, it was time to move on. We hiked up and down for a few more miles before stopping at the Governor Clement Shelter for lunch. We chatted with a father and adult daughter who were hiking the Long Trail. 
Governor Clement Shelter

While we were eating lunch a local out for an afternoon hike told us of an approaching thunderstorm. She said it would start really soon, so we decided to take our time with lunch. After 45 minutes there was no storm and the sky looked pretty clear. We decided to head out. We had a really difficult 4.5 mile climb ahead of us. Mt. Killington is the highest point on the AT in Vermont. From the elevation profile it looked really hard. As we left the shelter there was a sign warning dog owners of porcupines. I've never seen one and was disappointed I didn't see any on the way up. 

About a quarter of the way up, Mt Killington, the predicted storm began. The boys quickly turned on the afterburners and left me in the dust. The sky grew very, very dark and then the ice cold rain started. The summit of Killington is just over 4,000' of elevation. I haven't been up that high since the Priest in central Virginia. At that elevation a bad storm is no joke. I hiked as hard as I could, but by the time I reached the summit I was soaking wet. At least there was a shelter up there, it even had four walls. As I ran inside I was greeted by 12 other hikers taking refuge. I sat in there for three long, boring hours, soaking wet and shivering. I didn't want to get my dry clothes wet, but I at least put on my puffy, although it didn't do much good. When the rain let up a little I went out to get water from a nearby stream. On the way I crossed a big puddle of water. I stepped on what I thought was a rock to get over the puddle, but it was just an ankle deep mud hole. I was furious now. Much of the storm had passed, I was freezing cold, bored, and completely over sitting in a shelter. I told Stink Jacket and Pacman that I was hiking on. They quickly packed up and followed suit. 

I was disappointed not to get a view from Killington, but that is the way of the AT. Once we finally got moving again I warmed up quickly, dropping massive amounts of elevation helped too. On the way down the mountain we passed the 1,700 mile mark. Once again, I had to make the sign. 
1,700 miles down

We searched and searched for an appropriate campsite, but just couldn't find one. Everyone was tired, hungry, and short tempered. We hiked another 2 miles(felt like 10), until the AT broke away from the Long Trail. We found a sign for a campsite nearby, but it was .4 of a mile off of the Long Trail. So instead of following the AT east, we turned north and followed the LT towards Canada. 
My irritated, angry, hungry face (Hangry)

By now it was close to dark. I quickly set up camp, ate two snickers, and went to bed. I slept in until 7, and then started writing yesterday's blog. I'm in a much better mood today. I'm only 3 miles from town. I'll stop by a deli for breakfast, resupply, and then hike on out. 

"Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment."
-Dale Carnegie


  1. Congrats on the mileage!
    LOL at your "hangry face"
    As I realize that you are 500 miles from your goal----------I have the same feeling that I have when nearing the end of a really good book--I want to know the ending, but don't want the book to end....... I want to see you reach your goal......but I don't want the blog to end. I am so thankful to you for taking so many of us on this journey with you--your writing, and your pics are awesome! I even love "mama yoda;s" comments--she sounds so much like me.
    Enjoy the journey....stay safe and are so close!
    Your NH fan,

    1. Kathy, I don't know if you will see this or not. You have son on trail, right? I want to say Jokes or Joker, sorry if that's wrong. I hope he is doing well on his journey.

    2. Yes, my son "jokes" started the same day as Katie(that's how I cam across her blog), he had to take a week off in Damascus due to a knee injury. He will enter Mass. today. He does not post a blog, I am thankful to get an e-mail or a call now and then. We did travel to PA for a visit with him a few weeks ago....thanks to your tip I brought Epsom salts, and a bucket for him to soak his feet.
      You and your daughter are strangers to me, yet if I don't see a post from her before I go to bed-I add her to "my mother worry list"
      You sound like you are a great mom-all the best to you and your family. Kathy

  2. Wow, that many miles in those circumstances! I am impressed. You always set very ambitious goals, like trying to keep up with the guys. I am sorry that you suffered today (so to speak). Only 500 more miles! Good luck and safe hiking.
    Groetjes, Anja

  3. Yay, Yoda, 1700 miles. I'm with Kathy, I can't wait for you to finish your journey, but will miss reading your daily "ups & downs." I don't think I've seen your "hangry" face before, but it is so you. I looked back to see which pony the picture is with, it was the one you named Parker. That was a beautiful day and great pictures. I don't think I could have sat in that shelter for 3 hours, uck!! Not everyday is an adventure, but it's what you make it into that counts.
    Still hoping you will get picture of the elusive beaver and porcupine. Hike on and be safe. LY

  4. Nice face!! Those were the same signs I saw.I only say one myself and that was near Prospect Rock. Elusive I guess unless you are a nosy hound. Guess you have already passed the Inn at Long Trail? I stayed there and it's very hiker friendly, I can recommend the patty melt highly if you haven't. Sorry about the rain, it was torrential here too yesterday.

  5. Anonymous - you are right "Mama Yoda" is a great mom! Best of luck to your son. I too am really going to miss Yoda's journal when she's done - good analogy about the end of a good book!
    Hooray for 1700 Yoda and LESS than 500 to go:)
    Viya con dios Yoda!

  6. Sounds like a pretty miserable day, but it will become a part of your memory of your big adventure soon. I'm sure there are some ways you don't want it to be over, and another way you are anxious for it to end. Love your 1700 mile marker and hangry face. May your trails be happier the next few days.

  7. Only 500 miles left to see a beaver! You'll be at Katahdin before you know it and all us groupies will have to start following, what? Knitting blogs? Ughhh.

  8. Congrats on another Mile stone. Gotta love that irritated, angry, hungry face. I bet that rain was cold at 4000 feel but a good decision to keep the dry cloths dry. Will miss the daily blog for the next few days. I'm taking the boat and hammock and heading to Eagle Lake for 6 days. A place called about 100 miles north of Mt Katahdin. Enjoy your hike and Keep up the good work. :)

  9. Yup, like Kathy and the General I am going to miss this blog (along with the wonderful/entertaining/encouraging comments of family, friends and blog fans).

    Every morning I drink my coffee and check on "our" progress;) Today I almost had a coffee covered screen when the hangry face photo caught me unprepared. (Seriously, chort, snort, giggle and gag!).I am so excited about you reaching your AT goal, but I wonder if coffee will lose all appeal without your blog as a chaser.

    Congrats Ms Yoda for the amazing accomplishments thus far...keep 'em coming! And, as always...Thank you thank you, for sharing this journey with us.

  10. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!