July 5, 2013
Today’s mileage: 14.4
Total mileage: 1622.1
Our departure was delayed this morning since we had to do laundry. We got breakfast at a local bagel shop while we waited for the wash. We didn’t start hitching for a ride until 10:00. Without any luck for awhile, we started to walk back towards the trail. As soon as we stopped trying to get a ride, a couple pulled over going the other way and asked us if we needed a ride. I never thought that someone would want to give us a ride, out of their way and in the opposite direction that they were headed. Come to find out, the woman was from Germany and had hiked El Camino de Santiago and the man had done cycling all over Europe and Asia, although he was originally from Vermont.
We had a steep ascent from the road and back into the Green Mountain National Forest. It was another hot, humid, and muddy day on the trail. We ran into Landline, another Maine native from Steuben who we had first met at the Hiker Hostel on our first night in Georgia. We saw him again on Max Patch just before Hot Springs. To put things in perspective, that was about 1,400 miles ago! When we saw him, he actually hadn’t started his thru-hike yet. He started on May 18th and has averaged 33 miles per day. This is his 5th thru-hike of the AT and he is attempting to break the yo-yo thru-hike record of 150 days. A yo-yo is when you hike one direction and then turn around and head back the way you came. Basically, you end up doing two thru-hikes back-to-back. He has also hiked the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Along with the AT, the three trails make up the triple crown of thru-hiking. Did I mention that he’s done all of these hikes since 2008? Amazing. Next time we see him he’ll probably be heading south on the second half of his yo-yo.
We took a break at Goddard Shelter where there where several weekend and section hikers along with Z-Man and Knight Rider. We moved on and hiked to the top of Glastenbury Mountain. At the top was a fire tower that we climbed to get above the trees and see the Green Mountains at their finest. What a view. We haven’t had a view this beautiful in awhile. 360 degrees of mountains and nothing else. A breeze cooled us off as we admired the beauty of Vermont. Not far off, we saw Stratton Mountain which we will climb tomorrow. The frustration and stress still lingers at times, leftover from our time in Connecticut and southern Massachusetts. It is wearing off as we head farther and farther north, but I still find myself wishing things would improve. Especially yesterday when all I wanted to do was be home with my family and instead, I was sitting in a crappy motel room watching the fireworks on TV. I guess I just feel like I’m missing out on all of the fun of summer back home. And the closer we get, the more I feel the pull to come home. It’s tough for me, but when I saw the amazing view today, my will to continue hiking was strengthened.
There are several section hikers at the shelter and an Austrian thru-hiker, Half & Half. We set up our tent because of the dismal shape that the shelter was in. Now I wish we had stayed in the shelter. It’s raining and loud thunderstorms are passing through. Water has penetrated our ground cover and our tent is now wet inside. Great. There’s already a small pool of water underneath us. I just hope we don’t wake up underwater tomorrow morning. Will we ever win out here???
I’m trying to remember to simply breathe. But that can be hard when the thunder overhead takes your breath away. I’m trying nonetheless.