Congdon to Goddard Shelters 14.4 miles.
Today is even harder. Combine 97% humidity, the trail saturated from the deluge that I escaped last night by snagging a shelter bed space and 3,285′ of elevation gain, and there was no one whistling Dixie as they staggered or limped into camp this afternoon. Remember we did the same mileage yesterday, so we missed a recovery day and are back at it again. That’s part of the thru hiking game.
The challenges of the day included dead leaves generally everywhere that there were moss and lichen covered rocks. Foot placement was critical today, especially on the 700′ direct descent to Route 9, leading into Bennington.
I hiked alone most of the day, except when I had lunch with Megatex at Nauheim shelter. Yes! I just realized today this was the third Megatex hike that I’ve had the pleasure if experiencing. The Mayor is from Texas, Lee from Georgia, and me from Maine. To those of you that don’t know already, MeGaTex is a group of adventure-seeking individuals who combine forces every few years in order to achieve some ridiculously difficult enterprise, such as thru hiking the AT, or the Pacific Crest, and now the Long Trail.
At the end there was a long, steep ascent to this Goddard Shelter. What must have been a south bound thru hiker approached Lee as he was coming down and asked, ” Are you thru hikers?”
Lee said, “No”.
The hiker replied, “Then it will take you 1 hour to and hour and 15 minutes to reach the shelter.”
That was it.
I was curious as to this hiker’s ability to know our pace, so I timed it and we reached the shelter in 43 minutes.
No rain during the day, and a superb, clean new (2005) big shelter here. Yes!
There is a guy here who started the trail with his dog several days ago who was carrying two week’s worth of food. He had never hiked distances before, but did listen to other hikers who told him it made no sense to suffer under a 60-70 pound load when it was so easy to get to resupply places. His wife drove back here and assisted him, and extracted the dog, whose feet were bleeding after day 2. Now he is down to 1 week’s food. Too much!
I washed up again tonight , and felt better after I ate. Tonight I had Brad Purdy’s Curry in a Hurry with one of his Brad Bars for dessert. Brad was good enough to make General Lee and I fresh batches of both just before we left to hike here.
It has finally cooled down enough for ms to want to put a shirt on before bed. We’re up here at 3,540′. The shelter has a big open side to the south so we’re all wet ducks if a storm comes in from that side tonight. It has rained really hard the past two nights and a thunderstorm plus rain is on the docket for tonight.
O boy, I just hear a huge group coming in and they are definitely desperately seeking space on the floor in front of the 8 of us in here already.
The quietude of this group right now might be over. Earplugs? Got ’em.