Day 24 Long Trail

Aug. 30th
Codding Hollow to Spruce Ledge Shelters
11.5 miles

“Living easy, living free
Season ticket on a one-way ride
Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride
Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too”- Highway to Hell, AC/DC

“Never seen even one easy day in a long time,”said the Weatherman,  if there can be such a thing as “long time” in a three to four week hike.  Lee and I were sitting on the benches on the porch of this very spiffy shelter.  I’m going to down three 200mg ibuprofen tablets with my hot cocoa tonight.   The Inventory of Pain tonight includes discomfort of varying levels of pain, to put it bluntly. Tonight, in no particular order of severity are the following anatomical locations: feet ( ok, they are tops on the list), neck, shoulders, right elbow, upper back, lower back, left thigh.  I pulled it again today when I fell on my back, where my feet whipped out from under me the second I stepped on a slick boulder.
Two Dinners drove us back north through Jeffersonville and Waterville. We threaded our way through the wreckage from the floods, and witnessed shocking examples of the power that water has to tear away roads, bridges, and to ruin buildings, a number of which were residences that were in the actual process of being gutted as we drove by. Big piles of wet pink fiberglass were the primary lawn ornament along the wide, fast, muddy rivers that run through this part of Vermont. The road that we were driving on was under water in a number of places yesterday.  There are numerous utility truck crews working on power lines.
We got lost on the Codding Hollow Road this morning, and but were squared away with directions from a couple of seasoned ladies, one of which was pushing a baby carriage down this gravel road.
“Long Trail?”she asked, as we drove over toward them and started to roll down the window.  She then pointed to the alternate fork, and advised us “Gonna be real slippery today up there.  Watch out!”
Today we went over, under, or had to go around about 40 large blowdowns- all hardwood, but not a single conifer.

Blowdown on LT

The tree damage was clustered and appeared to be in areas that were not as densely wooded. Sort of bowl-shaped sites where the wind was able to whip around and do it’s stuff.

General Lee on large blowdown

We only saw one other hiker today- a section hiker named Daddy Long Legs.
Lee and I agreed that today was a world class hiking day. This trail continued it’s steep ups and downs, but the footpath a bit less extreme that it has been.

World class hiking today

We passed along old woods roads, walked along a huge-mossy ledge for a long stretch,  and passed through brushy ridges where the vegetation was overlapping the trail, mostly old nettles, and raspberry canes.   I was satisfied to get in 5 miles by lunch, starting a 10 AM.
Right away, we went 170o long feet up Laraway Mountain, the down 900 feet to Corliss Camp,  up another 900’ to Butternut Mountain, then down 800’ to a gap, then up another 500’ to the twin peaks on Bowen Mountain, then down another 600’ to our shelter here.  Still lots of mud.

Spruce Ledge Shelter

Hiker Tips:
-Potato chips are good.  Lee recommends putting them in any type of sandwich.  Cheez-Its work the same way.
– General Lee recommends “Wild Bill’s Honey Ham Sticks”, and claims they are made by the Amish  in Lancaster, PA ( “I  can taste it.”).  Motto:“You don’t need “teef” to enjoy our “beef”.

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