Monday, September 09, 2019

Appalachian Trail: Killington, VT To Hanover, NH

This last section was short which was better for my worn out  legs.  I increased my calorie budget and felt pretty good.   I'm feeling pretty good and my mood has improved.  Twelve states are behind me and only the two hardest states remain.

Kent pond.  I just want to sit and dangle my feet.
Day 156 - I hiked out of Killington and rejoined the Appalachian Trail (AT).  The trail passes Kent Pond and Mountain Meadows Lodge.  I considered zeroing at the lodge but it is closed for renovations and you could see the work being done to the exterior.  The dock on the pond just begged to be sat on with your feet dangling.

Like the rest of Vermont there were several hills to climb on this day.  The trail designers in Vermont don't believe in proper switchbacks and most of the climbs are straight up the mountain.

Today was going to be a sixteen mile day but, after talking to some southbounders (including one recording his thru-hike for Google Street View) said I had to stay at the Lookout Cabin.  I'd also considered shortening the day so I would have three even days of fourteen miles each.

I reached the cabin and ran into Hemingway, a thru-hiker I hadn't seen since Hot Springs, NC one hundred and twenty days ago.  Strange how the trail works.

The sunset colors light up the clouds.
The cabin was near the top of a mountain and had a small platform built on the top of the roof.  Climbing a ladder to the platform gave you a 360° view.  Hemingway, a few other thru-hikers, and I watched the sunset from the best seat in the house.

The oranges and yellows of sunrise.
Day 157 - Hemingway is an earlier riser than I am.  I slept in a little since sunrise is slowly getting later.  I got up and climbed the ladder for a view of the oranges and yellows of dawn.

The hike today took me past three farm stores.  I decided to skip the first two and visit the third.  Turns out I did that totally backwards.  The first two had hiker-centric products while the third was all high-end snooty-centric.  I did buy a pint of snooty organic ice cream.

I made it to my stop at a reasonable time.  My hiking speed was comparable to my speed down south.  There are a couple of potential reasons for this.  The trail conditions in Vermont are similar to Virginia with fewer rocks.  I also increased my calories per day.  Both of these may explain the extra speed.  I hope this continues into New Hampshire.

Another milestone to lift my spirits.
Days 158 & 159 - One more Vermont hill climb before I got into town.  Before starting up the hill I passed through West Hartford, VT.  The AT passes by a hostel.  One of the owners waved me down and offered me a snack.  I rested and ate cupcakes, a banana, and washed it down with juice.

The hill felt tough as I expected.  The trail comes out on a road south of Norwich, VT and becomes a road walk for the next two and a half miles.  Not far down the road a homeowner had placed two adirondak chairs with a mail box with a log book and Tootsie Rolls. Another had a large jug of water near the curb for hikers.  The AT skirts Norwich, crosses the Connecticut River (the VT-NH border), and goes up a hill to the Dartmouth campus.

I spent way ... way ... too much for a hotel room.  Despite the cost they didn't have guest laundry.  I took an Uber to do laundry.

The next day I took another Uber to Walmart and resupplied.  I boosted the calories again which means it will be a heavy haul when I leave town.

Today, after picking up a piece to fix my broken hiking pole, I'll head for the next town, N. Woodstock, NH, the beginning of the White Mountains.  The Whites are considered the most difficult part of the AT and also the most spectacular ... and they are only four days away.

Pictures can be found in my 2019 Appalachian Trail Google Photos album.

Total Distance: 1,749.9 Miles (2,816.2 km)
Section Distance: 46.1 Miles (74.2 km)
Section Elevation Up: 11,365 ft (3,464 m)
Section Elevation Down: 12,322 ft (3,756 m)


2 comments:

  1. Yes for second winds! I hope you get to see some spectacular views. How was the ice cream?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Autumn! The ice cream was good but no Ben and Jerry's.

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