Mon Oct 5th, 2020, 0615-1630
Clarendon Shelter to Peru Peak Shelter, SOBO LT mile 206.5
6300 gain, 5000 loss
There’s a breeze overnight, causing leaves to rain down on my tent, which I of course mistake as real rain. I’m tuned into waking up when it starts to rain so that I can put my tent flaps down. Hence, I wake up quite a few times for nothing. I also have weird dreams involving animals grabbing me in my sleep. I guess my senses are elevated because of local stories. A bear had been grabbing food at this shelter in the past but Firewood reported that the bear had been shot at the beginning of this hunting season. So there’s really no reason to worry.
I have to walk until about 6:30 am before there’s enough light to proceed without a headlamp. The days are getting very short. I stop at an overlook to view the Rutland airport, lit in the valley below. There’s just enough light to see the contours of the surrounding mountains, plus the city lights. It’s really pretty.
The rest of the morning is mostly uneventful. This section crosses lots of rivers and streams (all with nice bridges), following along several of them. This is quite a difference from the northern sections, where we mostly stayed on top ridgelines. We also pass several lakes throughout the day. Pity that it’s finally turned cooler, so I don’t feel like going for a swim.
We pass 2 places where “gnomes” have made multiple rock cairns. They’re labeled as rock gardens on the map. I don’t know what history lies behind the formations but it’s probably interesting.
We have lunch at Little Rock Pond, admiring the newish looking shelter that sits pretty near the lake.. Too bad it’s too early to stop. It would make for a nice night.
The afternoon brings a long climb to the top of Baker Peak. It affords a brief rock outcropping with decent views to the south. We stop to soak up a little bit of sunshine. My most useless piece of gear on this hike has been my sunglasses. Secondly is my sunscreen. We’re mostly in the trees and if not, it’s often cloudy. One of my podcasts talks about the benefits of vitamin D in helping an immune system fight COVID. It’s good that I’m spending so much time outside then.
We pass another lake at the end of the day and settle in at the nearby shelter. Three guys are already there so I opt for my tent. I love it so much! Some of the guys try to make a fire but it mostly just smolders. There’s nothing like the freshly cut firewood from last night. I go to bed early as the night is chilly. We think we can do 2 more big days at around 25 miles each so that we can finish on the 3rd day. This hike has gone by so fast, as I knew it would. We are still passing a fair number of northbound hikers…whether they’re doing the Long Trail, AT or just sectioning, we’re not sure. At least one said he was going to Canada. Brrr.