Ball Buster of a Day!!!
Knocked out 9.9 miles by 10:30 this morning. The terrain was challenging at times today. Mud sucks! Overall the morning hike was enjoyable and the descent into Clarendon Gorge held high hopes for a possible side trip for lunch when I reached VT 103. The plan was to head to the Whistle Stop Restaurant in East Clarendon, Vt for lunch, which is a 1/2 mile from the trail.
We hitched a ride within minutes of hitting the road this morning. I was grateful for the ride because the temperatures are beginning to get up there and even a half mile road walk would be brutal.
Lunch was great! A hearty thanks to BASA for paying. The restaurant staff was exceptional. They went out their way to make sure we could charge phones and attended to our every need. Although I don’t depend on my phone, it is nice to make sure that the phone is charged if I need to use it. Thru-hikers seemed to occupy every booth and the air conditioning was a blessing. A couple of cokes a Philly Cheese-steak and I was ready for a nap. After lunch the waitress gave us a ride back to the trail. On the ride she informed us that the restaurant was going to be closing down at the end of the summer. What a big loss for the hikers.
The climb out of Clarendon Gorge was just as I had remembered it being. Hard!!! Especially with a full belly and temperatures in the mid 80’s. Although the trail has switchbacks the climb is relentless. Just when you think you are at the top and the trail flattens out a little you are whacked with another climb. Truly kicked my butt! After a little more than a mile and a half the terrain became more moderate and I fell back into my grove.
Made the Governer Clement Shelter around 4:30 today. Covering almost 20 miles in 10 hours with an hour break for lunch isn’t to bad for me considering the climbs today.
The shelter is a stone structure with a fire-place. Not as luxurious as you might think though. Chatted with some northbounders at the shelter who were taking a break from the afternoon heat. They are moving on a few more miles today. Looks like I may be in the shelter alone tonight. BASA and Achilles like to tent and I haven’t really seen many northbounders. I’ve heard from a few northbounders that many have been dropping off for various reasons. It would have been tough for me in 1998 to quit after having come all this way.
Looks to be a clear night with rain in the forecast for tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will be a short day, as I plan to meet Chris at the top of Killington around noon.