Conquering Vermont, Anticipating the Whites
We have begun to see some big mountains in Vermont. It has been challenging, and yet, so very much fun. We have been over some serious rock scrambles that rival New Hampshire and Maine. Stratton Mountain, Killington, and even Glastenbury have been a challenge, but they serve to get us ready for the Whites. It is so hard to believe that we only have a little over 100 miles to go to get into New Hampshire. We are excited and so ready for the challenge. The Green Mountains are beautiful, but yet, the Presidential Range is calling. I will be walking over Franconia Ridge for the third time and I am still so excited to see it once again. Chilli got such a kick out of being at the Glastenbury fire tower and being able to see the fire tower on Stratton Mountain. I told him that we will be able to do that when we get to the Whites, too. He has never climbed mountains like this so he is extremely enthralled at every new view.
We have been doing more miles each day in order to attempt to summit Katahdin on Chilli’s birthday, Aug. 23. We have done 15, 22, 15, 18 and 16 mile days in a row in order to get to the Inn at Long Trail. We are on schedule and we are just praying that the weather holds so that we don’t lose any days hiking in the Whites. I refuse to go over those mountains in bad weather. Part of it would be a safety issue for me, but additionally, the mountains are just too beautiful to miss because of clouds. Now, Mount Washington will be a different story. If it’s in fog, we’ll have to go anyway, but I won’t like it. Katahdin would be another mountain I do not want to do if the weather is bad, but I may not have a clear day in which to hike it; and I’m OK with it. I will be honest. I won’t be happy, but if it is safe, I will go.
We have met so many new hikers that we keep crossing paths with. They have challenged us to keep hiking to stay with them and then we’ll run into them in town, which is wonderful. One guy, Atlas, is hiking the Long Trail, which coincides with the AT in Vermont, and we have really enjoyed getting to know him. He is an awesome guy and carries a huge pack, hence the name Atlas. He has to have some super-human strength in order to pack that thing over these mountains. We also have had so much fun with Robert Bird while we were in Massachusetts. I met him back in 2012 when I hiked through the state and had just been telling Chilli about him when he popped up with trail magic. We had so much fun reminiscing with him and talking about the “good ole days” with Weaver and Sarge while at “the Bird Cage.” Fortunately, we will be able to meet up with him again when we are headed south since he now lives in Tennessee.
We are still very much excited about what lies ahead for us. We are physically and mentally doing very well. My osteoarthritis is beginning to hurt somewhat, but it isn’t horrid and I feel better each morning. I do hurt badly at the end of a long day, but for the most part, it isn’t all that bad. We are excited for the Whites, and the rest of what the north has for us, but then we are also looking ahead to heading southbound. We have our plane tickets and my husband is coming out for a few days to visit with us too. It is so hard to believe that we have been on the trail for about 50 days and have completed over 600 miles so far. We are nearly one-third of the way done and there are still so many steps to take.
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