Day 130 – Rise With The Sun
It was a restless and chilly night atop the peak of Killington Mountain. The wind whipped around my tent despite its shielded location. I awoke a handful of times, mildly chilly and needing to adjust my sleeping bag. I was adequately layered, sans my hands and knees. I’ll need to send for my leggings and gloves at an upcoming post office.
I woke to Groundhog calling for me to wake up for sunrise around 6:00 a.m. Somewhat reluctantly, I got up. What was the point of sleeping there if I didn’t get up for sunrise? The view was a little off of where I expected it to be and partly obscured by trees, but a good sunrise nonetheless. After the sunrise, and battling the early morning winds, we both went back to our respective tents for more shut eye.
I got up again just before 9:00. My second sleep seemed more effective than the first. I packed as much as I could inside the tent before breaking it down in the continued cool wind. Once packed and descended below the tree line, things warmed up quickly.
I had plans to have lunch at the Inn at Long Trail. It’s roughly the point where the Long Trail splits from the AT (they share the first 100 miles or so). When I left the tent site, Groundhog was gone. When I arrived at the Inn, Groundhog was there. We perused the hiker box before heading into the Irish Pub restaurant inside.
I had a couple full meals during the two hours I was there. I had an excellent French onion soup, and corned beef hash. An hour later I had an apple turkey melt, all washed down with several fountain coke refills. The Inn was roughly at the halfway mark for the day.
I had plans to get to Stony Brook Shelter, 16 miles in. Along the way I passed some interesting water features. Kent pond had a dock on its shore that looked very inviting. It was already occupied by a couple and their dog in their underwear (let me clarify, the dog wasn’t wearing anything, the couple was in their underwear). I decided not to make it more awkward by sharing the dock with the 1/2 nude couple, so I walked on.
There was also a waterfall. Not one you could stand under and no places to swim either, so I appreciated it and walked on. Before my last big hill of the day, I came across a crab apple tree near a boardwalk. I knocked a couple towards me from the tree with my trek poles (all the easily accessible apples had been picked). They were a tasty level of both sweet and sour green.
Four miles and two hours later, I arrived at the shelter for the evening. All the good tent sites were taken so I applied bug spray and set my things up inside. I met a couple of SOBO hikers and we shared some secrets of the upcoming trail with each other.
Within two hours of arrival, I had lumbered into my sleeping bag and off to sleep before 9:00. My knees were both a touch sore towards the end of the day; likely from the extensive up and down hill terrain over the last 48 hours. I’m hopeful that will be resolved in the morning.
There is another farm stand and coffee shop eight miles in tomorrow which seems like a good break point. I’ll reassess how I feel at that time.
Until then, stow away in my pack for day 131 on the Appalachian Trail
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