Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Manchester Center, VT

Originally wrote from the Green Mountain House Hostel in Manchester, Vermont but everything mysteriously vanished so im rewriting this in Rutland, VT. 

Left Salisbury late but still managed to hike 14 miles all in one giant misty cloud. Passed through Massachusetts and had suprise trail magic right after Everett Mt. and right before the shelter. Got surprisingly cool that night and stayed so until around 10am the next day. Beautiful, but rocky 19 mile day to Mt.Wilcox where I spent the night all alone besides the mosquitoes of course. Much needed break the following day to Upper Goose Pond Cabin where only did about 16 easy miles. Arrived around 1:30 completely soaked from the hours of thunderstorms prior but was able to dry out by the indoor fireplace. Earlier that day I also had my second occurance with bear. About 200 yards after crossing one of those annoying fence-stair things I made a sharp right where a bear and 3 cubs were chilling about 10 feet from me. Almost immediately the mama bear did a bluff charge (which out of shock made me promptly fall on my butt) and the 3 cubs scurried surprisingly fast up the tree. After about 15 of just waiting, hoping it would leave I started yelling at it which worked and was able to go on my merry way assuming it was not stalking me.  Did 20 miles the next day to Dalton where were fortunate enough to have somewhere to stay. Stopped around 11 miles in to have lunch at the "Cookie Lady's" house, sadly she was not there so no cookies. Thankfully someone I was hiking with had relatives in a town near Dalton who aloud us to  stay with them for the night as well as driving us all throughout town. Very hard to leave the comfort of a real bed and start hiking in very possible rain but somehow we still managed to start back on the trail around 10:30. Only did around  16 miles the that day to Mt. Greylocke (the highest point in MA). Did not originally plan to stop here but after sitting down, asking about work for stay, and not wanting to go back in the rain, we stayed. Ended up setting up for a party for the following day as part of our work for stay and stayed in the bunkhouse. Did 20 miles the next day, 6 miles in we hitched into North Adams because of a rumour of free food. Sadly the resuraunt offering said free food was closed but we ended up eating at a nearby pizza shop for 2 hours and then eventually getting a hitch back. Crossed into Vermont, joined the Long Trail, and got to the shelter around 8:15. Hiked around 23 miles the next day to Story Spring Shelter which comprised of alot of uphill which also made thw day drag on. Got into Manchester Center around 4 after a fairly easy 21 mile day. Climbed Stratton Mountain that morning which apparently inspired Benton MacKaye to create the AT (which would not have inspired me to create a 2,200 mile long trail but it was still nice). Got a hitch in almost record time (5 minutes) to just outside town then another to the grocery store for resupply. Walked aimsily around the EMS outfitter admiring all the fancy new gear and finally, after about 45 minutes I settled on a new hat (I left my old one in Salisbury). Got picked up by Jeff from Green Mountain House and were told on arriving that without question, we needed to shower as soon as possible (which I was happy to oblige. Ended up taking my first zero in almost 450 miles the next day because of being just plain exhausted. I thought I might have Lyme Disease so I made an appointment and had blood taken, but I'm still waiting on results 8 days later. After getting back to the hostel around 4:30 I watched part of The Big Lebowski, slept until 8, ate dinner, and went back to bed.

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