Long Trail 8/14: Bear Hollow Shelter 12.6 miles

Crazy heavy rain last night. I was more than happy to be inside of Taft Lodge. Woke to a morning in the clouds, which was pretty awesome.

Started from the lodge this morning with a challenging downhill. Heading over Whiteface today. Planned a short day (12.6 miles), so I moved at a snail’s pace with the intention of making it to the Bear Hollow Shelter in one piece. As BASA would say, “A sure step, ensures a next step!”

Although I was successful at making it to this shelter unharmed the day wasn’t without its graceful falls!!! Ended up on my back a couple of times flailing around like a turtle on its back. I took 4 nasty spills on the wet rocks and roots throughout the day. Being agile like a Catamount I remained unharmed. If I wasn’t focusing on my footing I was trying to keep the boots sucking mud from taking trail runners. The mud did manage to steal a bucket from one of my hiking poles.

For the first time in quite a while water is plentiful in the streams and on the trail.

The 4000+ft of uphills and 4000+ft of downhills was brutal with the sloppy conditions. Some of the climbs/descents albeit fun were also sketchy. 10-15ft up and down on wet rocks sure got the heart pumping. With the conditions I was sure to analyze each foot and hand hold before moving forward.

Nothing great or spectacular today at the top of Whiteface. Stopped to have a snack and prepared myself for the descent down to the shelter. The descent is a solid 3 miles downhill. On the descent my feet started to hurt as well as my knees. A toe on my right foot is pissed off at me. Not sure why this would be happening. I have only been beating the shit out of them for 220 miles. Nothing I can do about it, so I’ll just keep walking.

Planning a short day tomorrow to Nye’s Farm B&B for laundry and a resupply. After tomorrow I will be down to less than 50 miles to the northern terminus! The plan is to get up and out early so I can hitch into Johnson, VT for lunch. Oh how I love a town visit!!!

Great Shelter!!! Enjoying  a candlelit dinner for one tonight. The woods are tranquil and buzzing with life and smell of the conifers is perfect. Unfortunately, the Skeeters are on the prowl this evening. I’m ever so thankful for my bug net. I’m not sure I can ever sleep in a shelter without its protection.

Around 8:30 the tranquility was abruptly interrupted by another hiker. Wet, tired and muddy!!! It was quite entertaining watching her climb the stairs and she said how embarrassed she felt. I quickly let her know that she has nothing to be embarrassed about and that this trail is tough and that she will get stronger with every step. I gave her some of my water so she didn’t have to head down the steep slope behind the shelter to get some. She is headed south for a short section hike of the LT and is coming from the Roundtop Shelter 7 miles north. We shared some beta as she had a quick dinner and crashed. Crashed HARD!!! Man can this woman SNORE!!!!! 

So you have probably noticed that my pictures dates don’t match my post dates. Well…its time to purchase a new camera(It is only 16years old). I set the date and time stamps before I left, but for some reason the camera is still screwy. Perhaps I can get the date and time stamp fixed in town. You will also notice that some of the pictures are blurry.I’m not sure what to do with the blurriness aside from smashing this camera.

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