Day 12 Long Trail

Long Trail Inn to David Logan Shelter. 13 miles
The breakfast here at the Long Trail Inn ( included in the room rate) was excellent but the weather report is hurting me.
It is still raining, it’s 8:30 AM and we are awaiting the arrival of Bad Influence, who is signing on for a week of hiking the Long Trail. BI is a veteran of the 2007 AT hiking campaign, and has emerged as a one man hiker support person for this section of Vermont. He is now running a shuttle service out of Strafford. He claims he is ready for hiking, after taking training seriously, where he recently completed a multi-day loop in the Franconia Rridge section of the Whites. BI is now one of my best friends, and we’ve completed several adventures together, including a fall trip along New Brunswick’s 32 mile Fundy Footpath and a admittedly tough 52 miles winter traverse over Maine’s Moosehead and Seboomook Lakes.
But today we enter a new realm, territory that none of us had hiked, after we take a left at the Maine Junction, when the AT veers east towards Hanover, NH and we keep heading north to Canada.
It’s already different hiking the Long Trail now that it is separate from the Appalachian Trail. It’s not as well white blazed, there are sections where the weeds and flowers nArrrow down the trail to nothing, the rocks and frees seem ancient, and the frail is heavily and frequently up and down. It is so thickly green that there are no views.
We struck out at 11:30 today, after waiting as long as possible before check out. We hoped that the rain would stop, but it didn’t, so off we went. The rain finally stopped but any water course that we encountered was forged with water, which colored the day’s walk with a sense of being an outsider- one who is allowed a glimpse of what this slice of nature does to process over three inches of water hitting it all at once.
It was constant slipping in the mud, which was everywhere. Anyone who questions the usefulness of poles needs to see how we used them to save ourselves dozens of times today.
We welcome the return of Bad Influence. Who hiked so strong today. Right off the couch, so to speak. He’s nursing a gimpy knee, and I hope that the half dozen falls that he took didn’t screw it up.
We didn’t make it here to the shelter until 6:30 PM. I did enjoy hiking later into this afternoon- the golden light beams passing through the green wall of life created spectacular simplicity.


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