This is the rickety bridge over the beautiful Stony Brook. Sorry guys, you'll have to hike in and see it for yourselves ;)
Heading South on the AT...only about ten more miles until the shelter...
So, canine roadblock. After determining that there was no way around, Vespi was forced to face her arch-nemesis: a ladder.
But then look at her shit eating grin when she got to the top - and promptly decided that a break was required!
But the view from the top of the ladder was beautiful...and almost as good as the cool breeze that came through the trees.
Stony Brook Shelter! Time for Breakfast!!
There was a young couple who had spent the night here who had been on the trail for 18 days. This was their first backpacking trip and they were still carrying around butter and eggs! (They even offered me a Mate Bar because they had too much food!) This contrasted sharply with the Northbound thru hiker who stopped to use the privy. The shoulders of her shirt were in tatters from four months of back pack abuse.
So my first real view of my destination, albeit blocked by electrical wires. That's Killington Peak on the right!
Okay, so when you are hiking by yourself for hours when you're sweating like a raincloud you start to do wierd things. I was wearing my bug repellent fern sticking out of my ponytail like a native american princess.
This was the worst section of the trail for Vespi. The canopy was gone and the ground was hot. For me, it was the intense descent directly previous to this. My knees were definately starting to feel it. At first, I had been excited to finally hike downhill...but that lasted about one minute. Good thing the entire rest of the hike was uphill. For three days!
I think this group of Irises had been planted along the walkway...but it was a
nice cheery surprise :)
This was a neat section of the trail - the ground was so soft from all the fallen pine needles :)
Probably the most exciting moment of the day...the realization that we were going to go swimming!!
So we picked a nice spot by Kent Brook for Vespi to roll in the sand and to dip my hot feet into the cold water. And it was here that I noticed two very large blisters beginning to develop on the insides on my big toes. Sweet.
Look, Mom, I'm alive!
A snack and a puppy nap and we were on our way!
We're getting closer!
Yeah, I didn't think today was long enough, so we added another mile and a half to enjoy the breeze atop Deer Leap. Unfortunately, the bugs felt the same way so we didn't stay long. That trail is much more strenuous with a 30 pound pack on :)
Meandering through the ferns of the forest...
So now we had met up with both the Long Trail & the Catamount Cross-Country Ski Trail. This section of the Appalachian Trail was like the main region for year-round hiking in Vermont.
Finally, I am in the tent with all the screens closed. There is such a nice breeze here at Churchill Scott Shelter, I almost collapsed from joy. The last two miles of 700 foot vertical almost killed me - how sad is that? My hands were at my shoulder straps in a desperate attempt to alleviate the tender skin underneath and each step was torture. Yeah, I'm pretty beat, lying naked on my sleeping bag, just feeling the breeze float over me :)
See you on the Mountain,