Day 5 Long Trail

Summit of Stratton to William Douglas Shelter. 8 miles
“We’re playing this thing like a fiddle”, remarked General Lee. Salvation- a roof over our heads last night in the driving rain!
It’s hard to vacate the Ski Patrol building this AM, but we extracted ourselves from the place after Genius and I swept the floor, washed the tables, counters, and left the place better than we arrived.

General Lee, Genius, and The Mayor toughing it out on top of Stratton

The Mayor has reverted to a sleeping fetal lump in the recliner, resistant to any form of forward motion.
We realized that we didn’t even have to use fuel here, as the microwave was right on the counter. It zaps water up to boiling in 3 minutes, which is just what it takes. Also, Lee discovered that the Rest Room building was also open, clean, and with running water. It just keeps getting better and better.
With a gigantic cell tower 20 feet away, it was no problem checking the weather on the internet. Down to 86% humidity, with 40% chance of thunderstorms, and nickel sized hail after 1 PM. But we’re hanging here still, with just downhill to go today.
Now I’m in the shelter, it’s 4:15 pm and it’s going to be good. So far today I went up in the Stratton fire tower for a 360 degree view of the mountains all around us, swam in Stratton Pond, ate chips for lunch, and walked for just four hours today It was what I call “world class hiking”- really spectacular footpath through some dense forest of what appear to be old growth silver birch and also some groves of beech. There were several large ancient boulders that the trail wound around and a footpath today that was more springy and less traveled than we’ve been using. The lay of the land, breezes, and the sunlight is just right.
It has taken until today for me to regain that deep appreciation for just walking thoughtfully through the woods again. It is the fourth day out and that inner shift is occurring.
I’m on the list today of the 100 Luckiest People In America.


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