Day 128 – Slow Burn

I woke up perfectly cocooned in bed with fluffy sheets that enveloped me in their warm embrace. I didn’t want to get up, I felt at home. On my phone, I scrolled mindlessly for 30 minutes. I eventually got up and made some coffee that Ms Jennifer had set out the night prior.

I got a chance that morning to get more “chores” done. Cut both my nails and my hair. Got my laundry from the drier. Edited photos and posted that days blog. I had an awesome quiche baked fresh that morning. We talked about our top 3 female vocalist of all time (a favorite question of mine to ask). Mine if you’re curious (you’re not, I just want to tell you) are:

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Lauryn Hill
  3. a) Christina Aguilera    b) Mariah Carey

She gave me a ride back and I was on trail by 12. Later than I had preferred to start but not mad about the productivity of my morning.

I got to a pond 2 miles in and ran into Groundhog. He got a peach for trail magic and it looked amazing. He graciously offered me a bite; it was very indeed very good. At a nearby shelter some section hikers had set up their tents inside the shelter. It wasn’t going to affect me as I was moving on but it’s generally not great etiquette to do (unless maybe you’re 100% sure nobody else is staying there).

I hiked with better energy today and the mud was relatively kept at bay. There were a few good sections with excellent water drainage management in place that I took notice of. 

I passed through some neat pine forests and even saw a pretty spectacular waterfall. Unsure where to stay for the night, I stopped in at Minerva Hinchey Shelter to debate my plans.

I had hiked 12 and wanted to do more. There was a gorge in few miles and worth a visit but the sun was fading fast. I found Highlight and Parker at the shelter shortly after arriving. I decided to stay as I was snacking which evolved into dinner.

Groundhog showed up as well and I made a fire for us. The first fire in at least a few weeks. We had a great time talking and laughing around the fire and went to bed right around 10.

Tomorrow I have plans for the gorge, a farm stand just off trail, and to summit Mt Killington, the second tallest peak in VT.

At present, I am 76.8% percent complete with the Appalachian Trail. In my prior rowing analogy, I have reached the 1500 meter mark of a 2K race. A mark that symbolizes a final sprint to the finish. While partly true, I am anxious to finish this journey, I want to temper my aggression and zeal to finish expediently, and at the same time appreciate each and every day I have left.

It seems like an eternity ago that I started in Georgia and even looking at a map it’s hard to comprehend the distances I’ve traveled. Ultimately I know the lessons learned and the memories made (and those yet to be made) from this experience will last a lifetime, so there’s no need to rush to the end.

Stow away in my pack for day 129 on the Appalachian Trail

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Comments 7

  • Steve : Aug 21st

    I truly enjoy your daily posts. Thank you.

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 22nd

      Thanks for following Steve!

  • Jeff Greene : Aug 21st


    I’ll still read your posts, regardless. Keep up the good work!

    • CB : Aug 22nd

      Hahaha! Agreed.

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 22nd

      Haha Philistine I may be. Not taking anything away from the LEGEND that Dolly Parton is, she’s just not in my top 3. Probably equally unpopular opinion but I think Miley might be the better vocalist compared to her Godmother

  • CB : Aug 22nd

    Don’t you mean 1500 of a 2K? These Vermont pics are some of your best methinks. Amazing!

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 22nd

      Yes, good catch. Thank you! Vermont is very easy on the eyes


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