Day 21 Long Trail

Puffer shelter to Smuggler’s Notch 12 miles.
Twelve wet miles. All efforts at crafting a strategy to avoid hiking in the rain failed today. We really had few choices. It was sit in a shelter all day or hike. Mostly we tried hiking like hell before the rain was supposed to hit at 10 AM. I was up at 5:30 and hiking by 6:10 AM. We had to go 3 miles before we hit a shelter, where we planned a quick stop/ eat/ water deal at which point we could stay if it was raIning or we could go 3 more miles to Taft Lodge, clearly the best shelter out here on the Long Trail. In retrospect we should have stayed at the first shelter, Taylor Lodge, because the rain started up about a half hour after leaving the place.
Ascending Vermont’s
Higherst point and then going over an exposed two mile ridge was a challenge, due to the personal discomfort that goes along with hiking in the rain, the strong winds driving the rain, and sweeping sheets of wet across the terrain, and the lubricating properties of the rain on these rocks and boulders, which are everywhere. I am stunned and thankful that I have not fallen yet today. The Weatherman took a bad fall onto his right hip. Lee is unscathed so far. We also had some unique traverses to deal with, the main one being a leap I had to make across a gap on the side of a cliff where you not only had to jump, but then quickly jump onto a safer landing spot to prevent falling a long way.
There were ladders, 6 in total, that were also used to get up on top.
There is nothing more despicable that I deal in hiking than a wet grimy t- shirt.
Right now we are hanging out in the shelter, sleeping wearing warm clothes, and sleeping. Another trail magic deal is coming our way tonight. A section hiker we became friendly and hiked with for the first two weeks- Two Dinnners- has texted Weatherman with a deal to pick the three of us up in Smuggler’s Notch at 6:45 tonight and take care of us for the night. He lives nearby.
When we get picked up tonight , we are going to be stinking wet, grimy, and muddy and every thing we touch is going to be gross.
A good day is predicted for tomorrow and then there’s this nature anger called Irene that is scheduled to cause us considerably more precipitation on Sunday. Aaugh!

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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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6 Responses to Day 21 Long Trail

  1. wicked cool. I will think of you this weekend. when are you and the Missus comin to Hawaii???

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  2. Rockdawg69 says:

    UT,

    Here is latest on Irene, but I’m guessing you already have some type weather info.
    Should be a CAT 1 around NYC on Sunday afternoon with heavy rains and 75-90 mph winds. Expect it to speed up once over land and in major part to be in your area early Monday before daylight or thereabouts. Find cover. Normally you can expect some tornados spawned off these things. Keep a weather eye out starting early Sunday as first bands could be inland by then. East coast from Cape Hatteras to New England is in for significant problems as it is shown hugging the coast along that entire quadrant.

    I’m headed to climbing training in Alabama around 1000 tomorrow. If there is a significant change by then I’ll send an email.
    Best of Luck.

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    • Tom Jamrog says:

      Thank you Rockdawg. It will hit about two days before we finish, but I plan to be off the Trail Monday, thank you. Keep me posted?

      Tom Jamrog Sent from my iPod Touch

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  3. Rockdawg69 says:

    Last update. You should expect heavy rain by early Sunday if it holds course and speed. Hard to judge this if it stays over the edge of the coast, which could slow it sown some. Rain bands are currently extending a couple hundred miles out in the NE quadrant. Those would reach you first. Best of luck

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  4. Clarkie says:

    Take Cover, my friends. ThE White Mountains are “closed” for Irene:

    Update 8/26/11, 11:32 a.m.: From the U.S. Forest Service:
    Due to the threat of extreme weather associated with Hurricane Irene the White Mountain National Forest HAS BEEN CLOSED effective 6PM Saturday August 27, 2011 through midnight Monday August 29, 2011.

    Northern Vermont may not be quite as threatened.

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  5. M M Jamrog says:

    The next coupla entries should be even more interesting: man against the forces of physics in nature, crawling toward victory, over blow downs and mud swaths… It wouldn’t do to have a trip without a hurricane to spice things up! Maybe it will actually happen! Glad you have some resources for getting out of the wind, and hope you all can get off and back on the trail without too much difficulty. I feel like I am sitting in the Taj Mahal here, as I imagine your surroundings. Its ceretainly the Taj Mahal of lean-tos! xoxo M

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