Long Trail: 8/13 Taft Lodge 14.7 Miles

My morning started with a pain in the ass climb up Bolton Mountain. The rain from last night transformed this part of the trail into a slippery slimy mess.

The 6 mile uphill climb to the summit of Mt. Mansfield was much easier than Camels Hump. I felt like a little kid climbing up ladders and over rocks. Way to much fun! The only downside to all this fun was that everything was wet. No views at the summit, shocker.  The top was less than impressive for me because the summit and ridge I walked on was enshrouded in the clouds.

Coming down the backside of Mt. Mansfield was a bit tricky. Short legs don’t work very well when the rocks aren’t spaced for them. Lots of stemming and looking for hand holds while hoping that my grip or foot holds didn’t give way on the wet rocks. Tough, but still fun.

Made it to Taft Lodge about 4 pm. I pushed my pace a little more than I wanted, but there was a black cloud moving towards the Lodge. Made it into the shelter with minutes to spare before the clouds opened up and let the rain fly. A small group of ill prepared day hikers came in to the lodge to get out of the pouring rain. Only one in the group of 4 had rain gear.

The Lodge is absolutely amazing and by long distance hiking standards a Palace! With the ability to hold up to 24 hikers it is spacious and fully enclosed. There is a caretaker at the lodge and costs $5 per night to stay. Well worth the price. There is only one other hiker in the shelter tonight. Doc Holiday is a south bounder from Boston that has flip-flopped. Should be a nice quiet evening!!!

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