Killington! 4200 feet

Back up to elevation! OK, not a ton of elevation, but a lot more than in the Midatlantic. Killington! The mountain that people usually ski down!

It was steep. The top part anyway. But so beautiful. So much like Maine, with the carpet of rust-colored pine needles, the mossy old-growth forest, the slick roots… and the moose poop. Moose poop! I honestly had no idea that there are moose in Vermont. Apparently NOBOs have already seen them, and one guy saw one near the Massachusetts border. Whaaaat?

I got past the peak before the rain started—a fine drizzle, then a steady rain, then a downpour that lasted the rest of the afternoon. It’s still pouring, in fact. But I don’t care because I’m zeroing, baby!

I love this place, but their dryer broke today. I hope my socks can air dry tonight and tomorrow.

I had a nice goodbye dinner with Fire Girl from Sweden (Long Trail, which is now separate from the AT again) and Tex, the NOBO who went a mile in the wrong direction the other day. Funny, funny people! Tex carries a chair. He started 2 weeks later than I did and has apparently been watching me creep out at 4:45 AM. 😁

If the scale downstairs is right, I’m down to about 117. Underweight. (The boundary for my height is 118.) I don’t trust the scale, though. It’s a regular dial one that gets used by thousands of hikers a year. Still, I’ve been thinking that calories are part of my slump. I just got an enormous resupply box from my wonderful brother, and I’ll up my calorie game. (I think it’s pretty much boxes until the end now, but I’ll sort that out tomorrow.) Hey, I even included a pound of almond M&Ms in that box! It’s almost like I’ve stayed here before! 😀 (They don’t sell candy. There’s not even a soda machine. If you want a soda, you go to the Irish pub downstairs. Ha! I wish they had a soda machine. Then again, weekenders here could just drive up the road and buy sodas!)

My hair is an epic old-lady disaster now. Wish I could shave it off! Time to start wearing a bandana in public!

The alarms are turned off. The earplugs are ready. Breakfast is at 7:30 (which’ll be interesting on Wednesday morning!). Tomorrow: three big meals, showers, foot soaking, and Harry Potter. It’s raining now, it’ll be raining tomorrow, and I’m taking a genuine zero!

(Oh. I did about 10 or 11 today. Tex hitched to the Inn. FG did the 0.9-mile roadwalk. I’m apparently the only idiot who did the 2.5 miles on the trail in the downpour. I’m still a bit of a purist!)

(Oh, also… 1700!)

(And… frogs +1. This one was cute. He didn’t hop out of the way. He slow-walked to a root to hide, like if he tiptoed I wouldn’t notice him. Tiptoad!)

Props to the Sticks and Stoned squad for the shrines this year!

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Pride and Prejudice

Walking today was like pulling teeth. I suspect sugar withdrawal! That or the fact that there was yet another heat advisory today. I was on trail by 4:45 AM (not a typo; I’ve been night-hiking in the predawn again), and I was sweating by 5:30. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity! 😁 Anyway, when I got to the rock overlooking the Rutland airport, I knew I’d have a signal, and I wasn’t worried about battery because I’ll be in town tomorrow night. So as an experiment I downloaded the LibriVox app (free, public domain audiobooks) and the audiobook of Pride and Prejudice. I listened to 25 chapters. 😁 It did drain the battery by quite a bit—like 80%, I think. But I listened for half the day. It might be useful for a more reasonable half-hour a day or something. We’ll see. I’m heading into the more remote sections soon, so I won’t be able to recharge, and I’ll be watching my battery usage. (And I’m still reading Harry Potter at night. Second go-round. I’m in the Order of the Phoenix for the second time this trip.)

It’s really starting to feel like Maine. Pine forests, ridiculously steep climbs, crazy rock scrambles. I saw a couple of SOBOs, but only one NOBO—a guy named Tex who accidentally went the wrong way for 3/4 of a mile, and was still planning to bash out 24 to get to town today. Wow. These guys, they astonish me. Such athleticism!

I’m at the shelter before Killington with Fire Girl, from Sweden/Vermont. I told her to give me a call if she wants to do the CDT in 3, 4 years. 😁

Tomorrow: Killington, first thing in the morning. The Inn is 12.5 miles from here. I’m hoping to get there before 2, but it depends on what the trail hands me! It’s probably going to rain, but maybe I can beat it. We’ll see! The good news is that because of the long carry, my food weight is like… next to nothing. 😁 My pack is really light at the moment (still bulky, though). Oh! Speaking of bulky, I discovered a fantastic trail meal: spam and spray cheese on a cinnamon raisin bagel. It was an accident, and it’s delicious! Calories, protein, fat, carbs. Does a body good!