Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Decision to return to the Long Trail

In 2015, during my Thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, I naturally covered the southernmost 100 miles of the Long Trail as the LT and AT overlap for the first 100 miles northbound from Massachusetts.  When I saw the white blazes of the LT diverge northward at the Maine Junction near Killington last summer, I was not thinking very seriously that I wanted to walk that way.  There was still a lot of the AT to go.

It has been many months since I finished at Mt. Katahdin and frankly I have sorely missed the feeling of being out in the woods living the long distance hiker's daily routine.  So, I have decided to return to that spot and hike the rest of the Long Trail to the Canadian border.  It is about 170 miles more for me to do, and I plan on doing it in one push from July 25, 2016 to August 3, 2016.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Canadian Border - Nobo 274


This post is from October 11, 2016. The GPS data from today's hike can be found at:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1401638977



Done!!!!  Made it to Canada by 2:20pm after a fairly cold 8am start ascending Jay    Peak. Today was a total of about 13 miles - still not easy and very easy to lose the trail with all the fallen leaves obscuring it.

This is the summit of Jay peak at 9am.


Jay peak, again:


Jay peak:


Northern Terminus of the LT:


The US/Canada border at the end of the LT.  Note the clear cut swath through the woods that is the actual border:



Journey's end trail head:


Monday, October 10, 2016

Jay Pass - Route 242 - Nobo 261



This post is from October 10, 2016. The GPS data from today's hike can be found at:
Back on the trail at 12 noon today. Helen and I drove up to Loon last night after honk fest and continued this morning from Loon to Montgomery Center, Vermont. I then got back on the trail where I left it about 10 days ago, and did a quick  6.8 miles today from Hazens notch to Jay pass. It was chilly, high 30!s at 3000 feet. Hopefully I make it through a chilly mirning tomorrow to the Canadian border which is only 11 miles from where I left off today. we are sleeping tonight in the same bed and breakfast in Montgomery Center where I got off the trail about 10 days ago so it is a comfortable night here are some shots from today:








Monday, September 26, 2016

Hazens Notch - Nobo 254

This post is from September 26, 2016.  The GPS data from today's hike can be found at:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1381679375

 I woke up this morning with a swollen painful right ankle and I knew it was going to be a difficult day the 7 miles that I did were very slow and difficult and when I got to the dirt road which is Vermont route 58 I decided I needed to get off the trail and recover. Helen and I had already made plans to meet in Montgomery Center (http://phineasswann.com/) tonight for me to finish tomorrow.  This is a 6 mile ride from the trailhead. I was able to get a ride down with a couple of day hikers who had parked their car at the trailhead.  I only had to wait about 20 minutes which was not bad. Although my plans of finishing on September 27 have been foiled, it may all work out rather well.  My plan will be to recover and to come back and finish the remaining 20 miles as a pair of adjacent day hikes before the weather gets too cold. Here's a shot of the trail head at Hazen's notch Vermont.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mt. Belvedere summit - Nobo 247

This post is from September 25, 3016.  The GPS data from today's hike can be found at:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1381679343

I made about 16.5 miles today some of the miles today were normal "AT" like mikes so I was able to take advantage of that. I am camped at about 3200 feet elevation tonight and it is supposed to be in the thirties in the valleys and could be much colder up here,I have just talked with Helen and when I get to the trail head in 13 miles which is 12 miles from Canada I am getting off for the night and meeting her at a nearby B&B. I hope to finish the trail on Tuesday with just a day pack on which will be a luxury.

These next two shots are from some of the terrain today:



Tonight's site was a last minute running out of light on top of a Mountain affair:




Saturday, September 24, 2016

Stealth camping on Laraway Mountain- Nobo 230

This post is from September 24, 2016  The GPS data from today's hike is recorded in two parts as I got off trail midday to pickup my food drop in Jeffersonville.  They can be found at:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1381679220

and

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1381679277

Made it over and off of the very steep Whiteface  Mountain this morning starting at 7:15. At first it was cold but as I descended it warmed and the trail got easier. I made it to my food drop at Rte 15  and bought sandwiches for lunch, did laundry and took a shower. This service was provided by the Nyes Green Valley BNB (http://www.nyesgreenvalleyfarm.com/) for a modest charge. I was back on the trail hiking north by 1:45. I made a total of 15 miles today.

This is a shot of me from Prospect rock just North of route 15 and the Lamoille River.


Another of that valley:



Here is my campsite tonight:


And this is how I eat supper:


Friday, September 23, 2016

Whiteface Shelter - Nobo 215

This post is from September 23, 2016.  The GPS data from today's hike can be found at:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1381679183

Only made 13.7 miles today. Crossing Mt. Mansfield in a cold driving rain was insane. Some of the trail there is dangerous in any conditions never mind those. There were narrow cliff edges with downward sloping smooth rock in the rain with lethal drop-offs of 60-70 feet! I was completely soaked with boots squishing out water by the time I descended to Smugglers Notch. Then another big ascent up here. I was too tired to find the tent platform so I just set up my sleeping bag in this 3 sided shelter. I am alone here- again.

There weren't pictures today because of the rain but I got these from the shelter tonight:



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Twin brooks tent site - Nobo 201


IThis post is from September 22, 2016.  The GPS data from today's hike can be found at:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1381679142


I I made about 17 miles today. The long trail continues to make me fight for every mile. There are just so few sections where you can just walk. It is either too steep or the footing too atrocious to make good progress. 

Anyway this morning I parked my truck at the trail head on route 2 in Bolton and made to my goal - this campsite - just before dark. With luck I won't see the truck again until next Tuesday night when Helen brings me back from the Canadian border.

Ego on top of Bolton Mountain -a 3500 foot vertical gain from the truck 10 miles back.


A view to the North of Mt. Mansfield which I cross tomorrow and where Helen and I honeymooned 42 years ago!



My campsite tonight. Note the tent platform. There is no one else at this campground tonight. Maybe things will be busier over the weekend. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Winooski River Bridge - Nobo 185

This post is from September 6, 2015.  The GPS data from today's hike can be found at:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1343525040

Today was my first day back on the LT after leaving with injuries at Appalachian Gap.  I recovered from those injuries and tested out my hiking with a couple of NH four thousand footers (Passaconaway, Waumbek) in August and felt ready to go back to the trail.  I wanted to try a 20+ day without the load of the full pack so I slackpacked from Appalachian Gap today to Rte. 2 near Bolton.  I drove up to Waitsfield on Monday night the 5th and dropped my car at the Rte. 2 trailhead and got a local taxi to take me back to App Gap.  I got started hiking at 8am.  It turned out to be a 21.9 mile day and in typical LT fashion the trail was tough most of the way.  In addition to the challenging terrain I got stung by a bee ascending Mt. Ethan Allen and slipped and fell on wet, smooth steep rock descending Camel's Hump, despite my every attempt to avoid falling. I fell under control, though, and just landed on my left butt cheek, always protecting my right ankle.  I was very beat at the end of the 11+ hour non-stop day but I was uninjured.  Now, the next step is to return to Rte. 2 before the end September and backpack the remaining 80+ miles to Canada.

Here are some shots from today:

 Some steep stuff on Burnt Rock

 Approaching Camel's Hump from the South.

Summit of Camel's hump.
 View north from summit of Camel's Hump

  View west from summit of Camel's Hump.  Lake Champlain in near distance then Adirondacks in far distance.
 View to Southwest.
 View south over terrain I just came through today.
 Winooski River footbridge


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Appalachian Gap - Nobo 162



This post is from July 27, 2016. The GPS tracking of this hike can be found at:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1279873625

By the end of this 12 hour day I had actually maintained the schedule I had established at the beginning of this journey. I had reached the Appalachian gap and was able to hitchhike down to the town of Waitsfield Vermont where I had a reservation at the Hideaway Inn. That was the good news. The bad news was that for the third day in a row it was an enormous struggle for me to make my daily goal. This was probably a combination of lack of proper training, extreme heat and humidity, lack of available water, the pack being too heavy, and the terrain more difficult than I anticipated, and - in general, too aggressive a schedule in the first place. In any event, I really had difficulty making the miles yesterday and my right ankle begin to hurt after about 2 miles in the morning. It's quite stiff and sore right now so I have decided to give things a rest and come back to the trail and finish it later this year. Although I feel quite a bit better this morning (July 28) I am still sore and in particular my right ankle is sore so there is no way I should be heading into the woods right now and I made the right decision to find a way home today. I will do better preparation next time and I'm establish a more realistic schedule before I come back to finish the Long Trail. Here are some photos that I took away the high ridgeline that I followed much of today.

Summit of Mt. Abrams.  One of very few 4000 footers in VT.


Top of one of the many Sugarbush chairlifts I passed.


Looking southbound over the terrain I had passed today.


In real life I could see Lake Champlain in the upper left hand corner of this view.

Arriving at asphalt at Appalachian Gap - finally.  This was a grueling descent with iron rungs and ladders for a long way descending the cliff face off of Mad River Glen.  I was too tired and sore to be doing that after 12 hours straight of hiking.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Stealth camping - Nobo 145

This post is from July 26, 2016. . The GPS tracking of this hike can be found at:

 https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1279873525

Made a tough 21.5 miles today in difficult terrain with 13 hours of no break hiking. Am having trouble finding water. Most streams bone dry. I had to detour 1/4 miles each way off the trail to get water from a muddy pond at Sunset Shelter at mile 15 today. Body ok but sore. 

Here are some shots from today concluding with my stealth tent site that I am writing this post from right now.


This is the top of the Middlebury snow bowl.










Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunrise Shelter - Nobo. 123

This post is from July 25, 2016. The GPS tracking of this hike can be found at:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1279873441

Helen and I drove to Shelburne pass near Killington and arrived at 9:20am.  I said a quick goodbye and jumped right on the trail as I was worried about making my 19 miles to this shelter with the late start. The terrain was more difficult than I had expected and the heat and humidity took its toll but I pulled in here at 6:30 and set up my tent. I took no breaks and walked the 19 straight through. A father and son and their 2 dogs are the only other people here. In fact I saw no one at all after 11am until I got here. I am happy and comfortable in my little tent-home that I last slept on on 9/24/14 at the end of the AT. My body is tired and sore but everything seems to be working fine.