Vermont’s Long Trail: Week 3

Miles This Week: 90.8

Total Miles: 272.5

Dates: September 17-23, 2017

Locations: Duxbury Road Trailhead to Canadian Border

Highs: This week there were great views and fun terrain to get to them. Between ladders, rock scrambles, and firetowers, I had my fill of adrenaline for sure! Mansfield was my favorite for playing on rocks but Belvidere had me in a fit of laughter at the top of the tower. It was incredibly windy and chilly but breathtakingly beautiful up there. I broke my no firetowers rule!

I got several bits of trail magic from amazing people. Not just in food but in kindness. Apples don’t hurt either though.

Lots of animals this week. I saw another porcupine! Still no moose, but there was one near my camp one night doing its t-rex impersonation. Lots of toads, waaay more snakes than I thought I’d see at the end of September in Vermont, grouse, and some sassy chipmunks.

I made it to the Canadian border just in time to catch the sunset. Considering I’ve seen more sunrises this trip than any other, I thought a warm, orange, glowy sky was a nice way to finish this trail and it was. I sat there by myself smiling stupidly as the sun sunk behind the mountains. No tears this time. Just me and a sunset.

Lows: I took an unplanned zero in Montpelier. I rolled my ankle getting out of bed and landed on my knee. Because of that, I got behind Reading Rainbow and didn’t see her again until after I finished the trail. I did an 18 mile day to catch her and accidentally passed her. Oops!

The hot weather played with my morale a lot. I started to get a little lonely too. I actually enjoy hiking by myself more than with others but when things are miserable it definitely helps to have someone there to laugh about it with.

They say it’s not a thru-hike unless you cry. Well, getting stung inside my nose by a wasp made me cry for hours. It hurt but even after it stopped hurting my face just kept leaking. It was more embarrassing than anything else though.

The tram at Jay Peak gave me a small anxiety attack. Hiking so many days solo and then suddenly being surrounded by tons of tourists was a lot to handle. I didn’t even enjoy the view. I did what usually works best for me and removed myself from the situation by hiking on. I tried to explain this to someone and they didn’t understand. They made me feel like I was being a snob. It isn’t that at all. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. It’s more of a sensory overload kinda thing: heavily scented perfume, loud phone conversations, being bumped into, etc. I just wasn’t ready for it.

Lastly, the Subway Trail does NOT in fact lead to sandwiches. I asked a caretaker. What is that nonsense about?