Long Trail: 8/12 Buchanan Lodge 19.0 Miles

Goal today was the Buchanan Lodge a mere 19 miles. I pushed hard today knowing that rain was imminent. Aside from Camels Hump the weather was sunny and nice.

Camels hump was a bust for views. The weather up top was rainy, windy and just plain nasty. Nothing like the view inside of a cloud! I enjoyed the climb up to the summit. The ascent was really fun, but challenging because of my short legs. There was lots of stemming and climbing which is always fun. The downhills on the decent of Camels Hump was slick in spots but wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I did need to slide down the rocks in few places. Damn Short Legs!!! I just wasn’t tall enough to touch the ground climbing down some of the boulders. Oh well, still fun.

My knees and feet hurt, but that is to be expected with 19 miles of rugged terrain.

Crossed through some farm fields today. Felt nice to be on flat terrain, but little opportunity to get out of the blistering sun. Had a farmer drive up to me at the edge of one of his fields. He stopped to say hello and ask how my hike was going. His timing couldn’t have been better as I was peeing on one of his trees!!! A little embarrassed, but he understood the need.

Crossed over the Winosski Foot Bridge as a nasty storm was approaching. Sheltered under the kiosk AT VT 2 as heavy rain and wind took over the landscape. Felt lucky to be at the kiosk as the storm raged.

The last 8 miles felt like an eternity of walking. Uphill almost the entire way.  Few rocks made the walk tolerable, but still hard. Surprisingly the last 7 miles was dry as hell . Only one water source in this 8 mile section and that was 2 miles in from the road. With the heat and humidity I was definitely hurting, but kept pushing. Ironic that there was no water since it had just rained. I ran out of water a few miles after the last source, but but being stubborn I pushed through to the shelter. About a mile before the shelter the sky opened up with a relentless downpour. Fortunately I knew the rain was coming so I was able to throw my poncho on thinking that I would stay dry. How I was wrong. The wind was blowing the rain sideways and I got soaked!!!

RAIN, RAIN and More RAIN!

At the shelter is a family of 4 helping their daughter to finish up her last section of the Long Trail. Early Bird has been section hiking the trail with her daughter and tomorrow they will finish at the Winooski Foot Bridge. Quite a feat for an 8 year old kid! Coming in wet and tired they were nice enough to offer up a shot of whiskey, which I gratefully took.

Southbound hiker stopped into the shelter around 7 pm for quick snack. Wet and tired. This is her first experience long distance hike, Kudos to her! She has picked a hard trail for her first and the heat and humidity has been brutal. Says she needs to push another 5 miles to keep her pace.

8:20 River and Shivers arrived at the shelter. They had intended to stay at the Duck Brook Shelter back on the old Long Trail, but couldn’t fit the shelter so they pressed on. Their route took them on the old Long Trail. From their description the old LT was brutal and miserable in the pouring rain. Lambs Quarter stumbled into the shelter after dark in the pouring rain. We all cozy and they are drying their gear out on the covered porch tonight. One can hardly walk on the porch without getting slapped in the face by a wet piece of gear.

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