Twig Adventures

Introducing the Grand Enchantment Trail

The Grand Enchantment Trail (GET) is a roughly 800 mile wilderness tramping route across the Southwest U.S., connecting mountains, deserts, canyons, and cultural/historic places of interest. Beginning in the Sonoran desert near Phoenix Arizona, the route meanders eastward, crossing unique and diverse Sky Island mountain ranges, the Gila watersheds, the pine-studded Continental Divide, and the southernmost Rocky Mountains, where it descends dramatically to the outskirts of Albuquerque New Mexico at its terminus. The route incorporates about 70 miles of the AZT and 45 miles of the CDT. The GET was conceived of almost entirely by one man, a hiker by the name of Blisterfree.  He has spent countless hours researching the best trails and routes to piece together, carefully taking[…]

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LT Day 17: Mount Greylock

Fri Oct 9th, 2020, 0700-1100 Pete’s Spring, MA to Mt Greylock, MA 8.5 miles 3600 gain, 1500 loss We’re set to meet Stellar’s cousin at the top of Mount Greylock around noon. Given the short distance, there’s no need to be on the trail before dawn. It’s kind of nice to set out in the light of day and we still manage to catch the sunrise over the Hoosic River. We’ve come out of the mountains to travel along nearly empty suburban streets between the city centers of North Adams and Williamstown. After a mile, we’re back in the woods and beginning the climb. We go up quickly, stopping at several overlooks at Prospect Ledge and Mt. Williams. We get[…]

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LT Day 16: Harmon Hill & the LT Finish

Thu Oct 8th, 2020, 1010-1730 Bennington / Rt 9 to Pete’s Spring, MA 16.7 miles 3950 gain,  3950 loss Today we finish the LT, but with less than 15 miles to go, there’s no rush. We’ll hike to the top of Mt Greylock the following day, so we plan to camp overnight just past the VT/MA border. A big breakfast is the order of the morning, provided by a lovely local diner. My hiker hunger has started to hit, so I put down 3 eggs, toast, bacon and slices of tomato with ease.  The diner is packed with linesmen, getting ready for a big day of work restoring and inspecting all the power lines. I ponder how inconsequential electricity is[…]

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LT Day 15: Stormy Bennington

Wed Oct 7th, 2020, 0605-1430 Black Brook to Rt 9 / Bennington VT, SOBO LT mile 256.4 21.5 miles, then about 3 miles walking around town 4500 gain,  5400 loss Our barred owl sounds as our alarm clock at 5 am. It’s 2 single hoots are the very loud and forceful kind. I know many of their varied calls but they seem to have different dialects around the country. About a week ago, I heard a really weird bird noise that finished with a few familiar notes of a barred owl. I’d bet many of the crazy noises that hikers report are attributable to these owls. We have some big miles to make into town before it starts to rain.[…]

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LT Day 14: The Biggest Day

Tue Oct 6th, 2020, 0600-1700 Peru Peak Shelter to Black Brook, SOBO LT mile 235 28.5 miles 6150 gain,  6500 loss Today proved that big miles are still possible, at least on the AT. We wanted to hike 26 miles so that we’d be able to reach a town for resupply the day after. It’s also supposed to rain the next day, so it’s better to get more of the miles done on a nice day. We meet our goal plus some! As always, the early bird gets the miles. I know this game plan works and another benefit is that I usually have the trail all to myself for a few hours. The day starts with a climb to[…]

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LT Day 13: Rock Gardens

Mon Oct 5th, 2020, 0615-1630 Clarendon Shelter to Peru Peak Shelter, SOBO LT mile 206.5 23.8 miles 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.[…]

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LT Day 12: Killington & Firewood Angel

Sun Oct 4th, 2020, 0850-1630 RT 4 / Inn at Long Trail to Clarendon Shelter, SOBO LT mile 182.8 15.6 miles 3450 gain,  4350 loss I’m super excited to wake up for breakfast in the morning. It’s a real breakfast…an omelet with potatoes, toast, juice and coffee. The hall is filled with LT and AT hikers. There are at least 10 of us, including Doug and Steve, the son and father duo we met a few days ago. Their mom/wife picked them up from Middlebury gap during the rain so they could stay at the Inn. Incidentally, the Inn’s 2 dinning rooms incorporate large rocks in situ, which is pretty cool to see how the rooms were built around them.[…]

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LT 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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