The Vermont Long Trail – The Final 4 days!!

The Long Trail Vermont Finale – the Final 4 days!!

14 days!!
226 of the 273 miles = 361.6ish km

17,393 m = 57, 398 feet of vert (and the crazy descents is what got me 😳)

Coming in to Route 15 on Day 10 brought alot of emotion. I had found new depths of hell I hadn’t before in any ultra. Purely by pushing through extreme conditions in absolutely crazy terrain. Reaching my bestie Justin was a big deal as there were days I questioned I could do it. The unshakable belief by a best friend can get you a long way in those low points. Once I got to him at route 15 we spent a night at Nye’s Farm BnB. Super cute. Did laundry, resupplied, played games, blueberry pancakes for breakfast and back on the trail.  4 days to go!! BREATHE!! We started out with a big vert day but weather was ideal.  I had a stealth camp spot on top of Laraway Mountain picked out. The reward was beyond my expectations. Looking back I could see the last 5 incredibly challenging mountains I did in last few days. The perspective shifted to enormous pride and tears reliving those tough days. That one moment gave me so much perspective and appreciation. I looked at my legs, touched them and said thank you. The next 3 days brought more mountains, more vert, more challenging terrain, more water rationing due to dry conditions but mostly gratitude for not being alone anymore. I felt bad because I knew I had signed him up for hell 😬. Sorry Justin is all I could say!! Good news, we are still the best of friends!! In those days there were 10 more mountains (most with underwhelming views for the effort put in to get to the top of them)

They say long distance hiking can provide new perspective. I leave with not more life answers but in actual fact….more questions.  I have said I can not articulate the toughness or the mental toll this trail can take but I walk away with at least these 3 thoughts:

  1. I  am not as tough as I thought I would be at times in yet tougher than I thought in others.
  2. Setting an aggressive goal is a way of moving forward and growing. Having to downgrade them does not make you a failure.
  3. Pride in an achievement should never be about how others perceive it but how you feel walking away at the end.

Coming from an ultra running background where DNFs are perceived as failure it is hard to flip one’s perception. It is not the adventure I expected on so many levels in yet it taught me so much more.

Thank you for being a part of the journey with me. I will break down days, gear, the trail and so much more. But for now I reflect and appreciate. Stay tuned…….

Thank you Far Out app for all you did to get me through this journey from water sources, mountain summits, shelters, etc.

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