- The guy with the dogs
- The elderly couple
- The brothers the day before the wedding
- The teacher
- The big truck guy with a bandaged hand
- The quiet Porsche guy
- The carpenters, me in the back with all the tools
- The older, but still young guy
- The guy I didn’t understand a word of
- The couple on the way to the fayre
- The young guy with 3 kids from different women
- The guy who could only take me 1 mile
- The crazy guy who talked at me, about everything from ALL the big issues to him having seen Peep Show (an obscure British comedy) and who kindly took me all the way to my destination
18/09/2017, 15 miles Split Rock → Lyndia’s Rest
Another good day. Long though! I felt strong today and the knee didn’t complain too much. Nice to make some good miles. Wasn’t expecting to do 15, even though that was my ‘secret’ goal. Was glad to find a camp spot, cooler temperatures and no mosquitos so far. Both good! Body is tired. Tired in the good way. About time!
19/09/2017, 12 miles Lyndia’s Rest → Bottom of Stratton Mountain
Feeling pretty drained today. Put in a few good miles in the morning, then started to lose energy so the knee was hurting more. Must be the last couple of days catching up with me.
Climbed Stratton Mountain and had lunch and a nap at the top of the fire tower up in the clouds, listening to the howling wind.
Decided to stop early at 3:30 – pretty beat!
20/09/2017, 12 miles Stratton Mountain → Manchester Center
Not a bad day on the trail. Pretty ‘in the zone’. Was going to camp and make town tomorrow, but someone told me about a hostel in town.
Turns out it is closed for the year! Did some errands (laundry!!!), had beer and pizza and now need to find somewhere to stealth camp in town. Wish me luck…
21/09/2017, 8 miles Manchester Center → Peru Peak
Slept surprisingly well considering I was in a bush in the middle of town last night. Hobo living up to the name! Success running errands this morning. Was talking to Carly in Starbucks when I saw a security guard drive off, leaving his 9mm pistol in the toilet! My newly acquired knee brace is working wonders so far on the trail. Climbed a couple of mountains before setting up camp.
Amazing sunset, but very much obscured by trees! Darn forest, there is a reason the AT (Appalachian Trail) isn’t high on my list!
22/09/2017, 16 miles Peru Peak → White Rocks
Nearly zero knee pain and my biggest day! The knee brace is really doing it’s job. Felt good today not having to think about the knee. Pretty worn out now though.
Determined not to miss another sunset I am camping near the White Rocks lookout and waiting for sunset with a pretty incredible view. Fingers crossed!
23/09/2017, 15.5 miles White Rocks → Governor Clements Shelter
Feeling pretty tired and in my own head today. No knee pain though. Made some good miles and looking forward to a couple of nights in a hotel in Killington tomorrow. PLUS CIDER!
An older guy and Jacob at the shelter tonight. Looking forward to some sleep.
24/09/2017, 11 miles Governor Clements Shelter → Killington
Hiked with Jacob all day. We went to the top of Killington Mountain, then to the cafe there for some ciders. Met a crazy family from Texas! Took a long time to hike down to the highway, but nice to mix it up and chat with someone. Hitched in to town. Must have walked around the store 8 times trying to figure out what to buy! (Grocery shopping is not my forte even at the best of times).
26/09/2017, 19 miles Killington → Sunrise Shelter
Back on the trail after a much needed zero day. Getting a little bored of walking in the forest with nothing else to look at! Throw me a view, or a lake or river to swim in. I think AT hikers must be crazy!
Officially a heatwave today as the temperatures are again over 30 degrees. I sweated ALL DAY! Managed 19 miles so pretty pleased with that. Could well be my biggest day with the bigger mountains coming up.
27/09/2017, 15 miles Sunrise Shelter → Skyline
Good day today. Got some views from a ski hill and a lake swim. Boy was it hot! Nice to have a few things to break up the “green tunnel”. Had to carry extra water up the hills due to reports of water sources drying up. I felt the extra weight.
Nearly camp 2 miles back but decided to push on, glad I did as nicest shelter yet. I thought I had miscalculated and wasn’t going to make it, so I pulled out the GPS to find it was just a few meters around the corner! I thoughtI was on a different hill!
Met Whitebeard, the first PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) hiker I have ever met. He says the LT is harder with much more technical terrain under foot. Made me feel really happy as I have been finding the trail really tough… and pretty monotonous at times… plus a heatwave in late September!
I had lots of questions for him and hearing his experiences raised my spirits about doing the PCT, and building up to that is the reason I am out here.
Maybe the LT is just a tough nut. I’m going to crack it.
28/09/2017, 17 miles Skyline → Lincoln Mountain
Getting in to the bigger stuff now so some nice views. Headed out at 7:30 and just kept truckin’. Much cooler today so nice to not be sweating buckets going uphill. Just as I was realising that I shouldn’t camp at higher elevations because of the near-freezing temperatures I stumbled across an open warming hut at one of the ski hills. The trail provides!
Starting to think about the end and wanting to be done, which makes me wonder if I could do a big 5-month hike like the PCT. Am I just tired? This has been a tough hike in more ways than one and I’m only just starting to get the rewards. I need to make sure I’m not just going through the motions… ups and downs. Ups and downs.
29/09/2017, 14 miles Lincoln Mountain → Birch Glen Camp
Great views from Stark’s Nest, that is after chatting to Guppy the Kiwi for a while, because it was a complete white out before that. Nice guy and nice to chat to a fellow common wealth. The first non-American I met on the trail.
Resupplied at Waitsfield, cider and tacos at the Mad Taco. Bumped in to a guy who picked me up hitchhiking two weeks ago!
Changed my flights so I will be back in time for Thanksgiving, which I feel good about. Thought a lot about why I have been feeling ‘done’. Remembering back to other trips when I felt the same – alone and not having any fun. Perhaps I get to a wall of being alone that I can’t get past and just want to go home?
Met an Aussie at the shelter and he asked if I was enjoying the trail. I gave a long-winded reply about ups and downs and he just said he was “loving it”. I’ve been out here for a while with the best bits to come. I hope I have a good end to this hike.
30/09/2017, 13 miles Birch Glen Camp → Bamforth Ridge Shelter
Those were some long 13 miles! A good day though, 3 peaks and some really nice views. Just what I needed. Seeing Camels Hump was pretty intimidating and a LONG way down. Very technical. Feeling pretty beat now, but that’s just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully a good sleep will follow 🙂
01/10/2017, 19 miles Bamforth Ridge Shelter → Taylor Lodge
Feeling tired today after that mountain yesterday. Hiking in a bit of a zombie trace today. Some nice woodland sections. More like slogging that trucking along today. Hopefully I sleep O.K as it’s getting cold at night.
Made it to the shelter eventually. Mount Mansfield tomorrow, the highest point in Vermont, then one more day and I should be done. I’m looking forward to completing this thing.
02/10/2017, 13 miles Taylor Lodge → Near Sterling Pond
Not as tired setting out today, which is good as Mount Mansfield is the highest peak in Vermont! Pretty slow going to get up there and some interesting ladder climbs. Wonderful view from the top. Not as tough as Camels Hump, made it down O.K. Very slow going ascending again! Instead of staying at a shelter nearby I made it to an old warming hut at the top of a ski hill. I figured it would be warmer than the open shelter. There is a sofa here that I threw my poncho over, so I might get a comfortable sleep, which is much needed. I’m pooped! Last day tomorrow 🙂
03/10/2017, 11 miles Near Sterling Pond → Johnson
Pretty motivated to finish today! Slept pretty well last night. Made good progress up the mountains, typical mediocre views where they cut back a few trees: the classic LT mountain-top anticlimax to end the hike. A few miles of logging road to bomb down towards the highway where I call it a day.
No fanfare at the end (as always!). I got picked up by a guy in a VW camper who just picked up another hiker. We went to have cider and barbecue. I need a shower.