Most importantly – Trevor is feeling okay. He has an issue with balance when he multitasks (ie step up, take backpack off and look around) so he is now concentrating on doing one thing at a time, other than that he feels better.
I am convinced we walked through the most beautiful part of the AT today. The trees are low so you have this overload of green a few meters above your head, with lots of green groundcover and many bubbling brooks.
However, we did not appreciate the beauty sufficiently as we had a tough walking day.
Let me step back to the night in the shelter. It went better than we expected. Other than us there was only one AT thru-hiker. The rest of the people were all there for a one week or two week hike. And with it the excitement of the adventure. Man you should see them in the morning, it takes them 90mins to get ready to leave and their backpacks are more organised than my cupboards at home (and my cupboards are pretty well organised).
Because the shelter was over full and because the weather forecast predicted a drop in rain from 10am, we waited for the first batch of shelter dwellers to leave before we started packing up. We only got out on the trail by 9h but luckily the rain has almost stopped by then.
We walked in mud for about 14km. I think Vermont is always fairly muddy but after yesterday’s rain the trail is one mud stream. One tries to walk where your feet are not sinking deep enough into the mud to reach your ankles but you don’t always succeed. And it wears you out, negotiating the mud every step of the way.
After that we got to climb Mount Stratton – which is home to a ski resort so a challenging enough climb. Especially as the trail was now a river, we walked up with water running down the trail and then we walked down (we are only halfway down) with water running down the trail. At least walking in water rinsed the mud of our shoes.
Because we started late and because the mud walking was slow we only did 20km today.
Iceman sent us a message to advise screwing the stove on tighter onto the gas cylinder – that worked and while Trevor pitched our tent in an unofficial camp site I cooked us a (freeze dried) lasagna. The freeze dried food is expensive but I always carry 2 bags for when our morale is low and I want to cheer us up a bit.
Tomorrow we are going into Manchester. We have about 20km to do to get to the road leading into Manchester. And two days after that we will need to go into Rutland to get food to take us through to Hanover. It’s not optimum use of our time, we should have skipped Manchester and pushed through to Rutland but with Trevor being ill we just wanted to get back to the trail without carrying too much food and assessed how he is doing.
Midweek for you all 😀