8/2 William B. Douglas Shelter 21.5 Miles

The rain never stopped last night and made for a slow start this morning. Ate breakfast in my sleeping bag and wondered if today would be another wet one. I heard last night that the rain was to continue, but have resisted the temptation to check the weather using my phone. There is nothing I can do but hike so why bother knowing the weather.

Left the shelter around 7:15 am in the pouring rain. Rain let up around 10 am and the trail conditions are deplorable. With the mud and streams running down the trail it was a challenging hike today. Boot sucking mud was everywhere. Had a nice long climb up Stratton Mountain, but no views with the rain. I bet the view from the fire tower is killer on a clear day. I wasn’t about to waste my time for nothing. Contemplated hiking down to the resort for lunch, but I knew that there was no way I would be motivated to hike another 8 miles after a stop at the resort. I managed to send Anne a text or two to let her know I was still alive. I am grateful that she supports my crazy hiking lifestyle.

After a long slog down the mountain the ascents and descents were kind, but the mud, rocks, and roots were not. I can already tell that my trail runners will be replaced sooner than later. Just kept on moving through the afternoon and eventually made the William B. Douglas Shelter.

Happy to know that my gear is mostly dry and will stay that way. No matter how careful I am, moisture will still be absorbed by my sleeping bag and clothing and I will need to dry it when I get to town.

21.5 miles and I am feeling every mile on my feet. I think that for every step forward I slipped backwards a half step. No major blisters, just the typical pruning and peeling of wet skin. Most of my issues revolve around pounding them on rocks and just being wet.

Already looking forward to Manchester Center for my first mail drop. Planning a stay at the Green Mountain House Hiker Hostel. A beer and burger will be nice, but drying my shit out will be even better.

First one at the shelter today after arriving around 5 pm. I think that this will be a trend on my hike. The sun made an appearance and I was able to “dry” my socks on a rock. Chief and Fitty (Fifty) came in around 7pm and are tenting behind the shelter. They are hiking a section from Bennington to Danby. They seem to be in good spirits despite the weather and trail conditions. The hike is a 50th birthday present for Fitty. He has always wanted to do a section and Chief, his wife, agreed to give it a go!

Had dinner with the two of them and now heading to bed.


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