Day 4 Long Trail
Goddard Shelter to summit-Stratton Mountain 17.2 miles
Strategy worked, with luck.
The Weatherman told us that today had a 60 parent chance of rain, and that it was up to 90 percent for tonight and all day tomorrow. About an inch predicted.
So, we all headed out early, hoping to beat the rain and decided to make a plan at lunchtime.
It was a fairly easy morning, with a gradual 5 mile downhill to Kid Gore shelter, where we grouped for snack. It was still 98% humidity, I was drenched grimy, and it was a day where my hopes were to make it to some type of shelter before I had to walk in the rain.
Big up of 500 feet out of Kid Gore, then another downhill to Story Spring Shelter, where we ate lunch. It was 11:30 AM and we had just finished off 9 miles.
There was more mud today, but my feet stayed dry.
We heard from two sources that it was possible to spend the night at a building 0.7 miles from the AT at the Stratton mountain ski area. Our reasoning was that it was too long a day to hike another 10.5 miles to the next shelter, but that we could at least make it to the summit ( 6.8 miles) by 4 PM. There is no camping allowed on the AT summit, so we were banking on using the ski building.
But first there was 1,700 feet to ascend in the next 3.3 miles. More thick mud, too. After an hour of plodding up there, it started to rain , but lightly. I put my pack cover on, but no rain jacket. I’m soaked already.
I felt good today, although my feet are sore. All of our feet are sore. The footpath is unrelentingly rough.
On top there was 20 feet of visibility. We regrouped and I went over to talk to the caretakers, a couple who have been staying in this tiny cabin on the summit for over 40 years. They informed me that thee were no places that were open for hiker use on the ski summit, and that had been the case for about 6 years now now. I told them I thought there was news otherwise, that I found in the recently published Thru- Hikers Guide to the Long Trail, and that it was also what the trail angel supplying a water cache on Rt. 9 told me. They said that this is the first time that they had heard it was usable again, told us where it was located, and that we’d better get over there before the rain would really start falling. Great folks.
.7 miles of ridge walking later, we eventually located the open door where we were greeted to a neatly kept, clean, multiple couches and recliners, with electricity, microwave, VCR player with tapes ( well 2 that we wanted to watch), tables chairs, trash can situation. We are also right by the cell tower, and there’s excellent reception for anything here at 4,000 feet tonight. It’s awesome! We’re waiting out this storm in style, however long it takes.
In the Path of Young Bulls details a team’s five-month-long stint of daily challenges along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, one of the USA’s toughest long-distance journeys. The book also serves as a resource for section and long-distance hikers in planning their own CDT adventures, by including daily mileages from starting and ending locations, as well as on-trail reports and conditions for each day’s hike.
$30.00 (plus tax)
286 pages, with over 50 pages of full color photos.
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