We actually got out on the trail by 930 including a nice breaky at Friendlies. Right out of the gate a 1200 foot climb. Such is life when leaving towns. The weather was good and our legs were strong– nothing like a zero for recovery. We tackled the 1200 footer while passing throngs of south bounders. Only 1600 miles to go mofos! Ha ha! Once on top of the ridge we encountered the mud bogs that we were warned would dominate the first 40 miles of Vermont. They are a mess and really slow you down as you attempt to keep your feet dry. The scenery is really cool with moss covered rocks and trees everywhere.
We are not only competing with south bounders for tent sites, but also with Long Trailer. The Long Trail is a hiking trail that starts at Vermont’s southern border and finishes due north at the Canadian border– about 200 miles. The AT and Long Trail are the same for about the first 100 miles when the AT turns east toward New Hampshire. So for now their are three groups competing for spots: NOBOs, SOBOs, and Long Trailers.
So at the shelters we have to listen to these guys talk incessantly about how hard the second half of the long trail is– the second freaking 100 miles! We’ve been doing that every week for a half a year. Oh, and by the way, congrats on passing your 25 mile milestone. Sheesh.
So we wallowed our way through the mud bogs and rolled into the shelter at a pretty early 6 pm. With 16 miles under our belt we resisted the urge to try and grind out another four miles and cowboy camp somewhere. Unfortunately, the tent sites were full so we had to sleep with the mice. By morning, we were treated to one of most spectacular sunrises so far, visible from our sleeping bags. Pic provided. Happy trails.