Twig Adventures

Day 11: Meeting the Appalachian Trail

Sat Oct 3rd, 2020, 0550-1200 David Logan Shelter to RT 4 / Inn at Long Trail, SOBO LT mile 166 13 miles 2900 gain,  3600 loss Rain drops on a metal roof make for a pleasant sleep. But the dying fire also makes for a smokey cabin. The early morning brings a thick fog and gear that reeks of smoke. The Great Outdoors. I can barely find the nearby privy in the dark, my headlamp beam is so distorted by the fog. Finding the side trail from the hut to the main trail is another adventure, then it’s game on just trying to stay on the trail. We could’ve made it easy on ourselves by just sleeping in a bit[…]

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LT Day 10: Wilderness

Fri Oct 2nd, 2020, 0550-1500 Boyce Shelter to David Logan Shelter, SOBO LT mile 153 20.7 miles 5600 gain,  5900 loss It rains lightly on and off during the night but at least my tent is dry in the morning. I finish packing just as it starts to sprinkle again. The forecast called for a 60% chance of showers between 10 am and 1 pm. This translates into steady drizzle with occasional heavier rain from 6 am until…well it’s now evening and still going. Hence the reason I don’t have many pictures to add to this post. Everyone wakes early and we’re on the trail well before dawn. The drizzle and reflection off the wet ground disrupts my headlamp beam,[…]

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LT Day 9: Monroe Skyline

Thu Oct 1st, 2020, 0620-1730 Stark’s Nest to Boyce Shelter, SOBO LT mile 132.5 23.2 miles 6500 gain,  7200 loss It’s hard to leave a warm hut when it’s cold outside. I always think I’ll be faster packing up inside a hut, since I don’t have to deal with my tent, but I’m usually slower. Today’s no exception. It’s nice watching the light slowly grow in the east. It would be beautiful to watch a sunrise here but we need to press on. We catch the sunrise on the way up Mt Ellen (4075′) instead. At this vantage point, I can see all our previous mountains as well as the Whites to the east and Adirondacks to the west. This[…]

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LT Day 8: Stark’s Nest

Wed Sept 30th, 2020, 1500-1620 Appalachian Gap to Stark’s Nest, SOBO LT mile 109.3 2.4 miles 1500 gain,  280 loss A nero into town and a nero out basically add up to a zero. It’s a real ‘pissah’ outside anyway (meaning lots of rain), so there’s no rush to get back on trail. It rains hard all night and well into the morning. I crack the windows to let the cool air in, while the white noise and soft bed make for a perfect sleep. In the morning, I do the usual chores while also lounging in bed.  Breakfast is yogurt parfait, sausage, and waffles with real maple syrup, of course. It’s all really good but kind of small portions.[…]

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LT Day 7: Quintessential Waitsfield

Tue Sept 29th, 2020, 0800-0915 Birch Glen Lodge to Appalachian Gap / Waitsfield, SOBO LT mile 106.9 2.5 miles, then about 5 miles of walking in town 1200 gain, 900 loss I slept really well overnight. The wind blew strong all night but there was no rain. We don’t get too early of a start since it’s a short walk to the road. I hate to disturb my fellow lodge mates banging around before it’s light. We hang out for a bit, then say our goodbyes to Broken Toe and company. I figure I’ll see him again… he’s like an ephemeral spring along the trail. We hope to also see a father/son pair, Doug and Steve, again since they too[…]

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LT Day 6: Over the Camel’s Hump

Mon Sept 28th, 2020, 0600-1530 Gleason Brook to Birch Glen Lodge, SOBO LT mile 104.4 15 miles 6600 gain, 5100 loss An early start is clutch this day. A huge climb of over 4,000 feet greets us. We begin in the dark and enjoy the transition into the world of colors. I’m shortly on a ridge, where the air’s fresh and the day bright. The trail follows solid rock ridges for long stretches, offering clear views among the stunted conifers. It can be hard to find the trail at times… a study in looking for the white hash marks painted directly on the rock. The colors of the surrounding deciduous forests are astounding. Camel’s Hump looms prominently at 4,072′. At[…]

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LT Day 5: The top of Vermont

Sun Sept 27th, 2020, 0600-1800 Taft Lodge to Gleason Brook, SOBO LT mile 89.4 23.5 miles 6350 gain, 9300 loss (highest & lowest points on the trail, in the same day!) I sleep surprisingly well in the lodge, despite the comings and goings of my fellow occupants throughout the night. The door latch gives everyone a fit, making a lot of unnecessary noise. We should set an alarm for everyone to go pee at once. Several get up at 5 am, including myself, all hopeful to see a sunrise from the highest point in Vermont. I set off in the dark up the steep, rocky flanks of Mt. Mansfield. My headlamp beam is distorted by mist and I struggle to[…]

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LT Day 4: Ski areas, quaint villages, mountain lodges

Sat Sept 26th, 2020, 0545-1730 Waterman Brook to Taft Lodge, SOBO LT mile 66 11.2 miles, plus about 2 miles walking around town 5900 gain, 4500 loss I’m ready to go early but don’t feel as well as the day before. I call it a ‘Hiking Hangover,’ most often experienced after a previous big day. Of course, the rugged terrain from day 2 is back. Whoa Nelly! is the climb to Whiteface Mountain steep! I’m scrambling over slimy rock faces while grabbing onto roots and limbs…a lot of that in the light of my headlamp. I get to the top for a nice view of the sunrise through the valley haze. It’s very humid but there’s probably also smoke from[…]

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LT Day 3: Back in the game

Fri Sept 25th, 2020, 0600-1630 Spruce Ledge Camp to Waterman Brook, SOBO LT mile 54.7 24.0 miles 7200 gain, 6500 loss I sleep perfectly throughout the night, despite some nearby anonymous snoring (ear plugs work great!). My shirt and skirt are still wet in the morning…recall my pond excursion the afternoon before. I hung them to dry overnight but nothing dries at night on the east coast. I hate putting on wet clothes to start the day but at least it’s not cold. I wake feeling pretty great, like Tony the Tiger grrrrreat! Perhaps I’m back in my hiker groove. I hit the trail very early, having to use my headlamp for the first 15 minutes because it’s still so[…]

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LT Day 2: Humbling

Thu Sept 24th, 2020, 0700-1630 Hazen’s Notch Camp to Spruce Ledge Camp, SOBO LT mile 30.6 14.0 miles 4600 gain, 5100 loss I don’t set my alarm and end up sleeping until 6 am. Usually I start packing by 5 or 5:30 am. Clearly I needed the rest. I’m very sore when I start moving about. Stellar suggests some endpoints for the day, the shortest of which is over 20 miles. I don’t think I’ll make it that far based on the time and distance we managed the day before. He’s also ready to go, yet I still have to pack my tent and belongings. I leave almost 30 minutes after him, already feeling pretty demoralized. But I shouldn’t be[…]

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