AT Thru-Hike Day 114

Kid Gore Shelter (2,782 feet) mile 1628.3 to Stratton Pond Shelter (2,658 feet) mile 1643.3 for a 15.1 mile day.

We woke this morning to clear sky’s and a great outlook on the day. Heading for another climb and another peak with an observation tower. Rain was in the forecast for the evening so now we hike on and see how the weather pans out. This will be the third day with rain in the forecast. The last two have proven to be fairly dry days with a lite rain, so lite that it barely made it through the tree canopy onto us!

So far, today has been a sort of leisurely stroll through an evergreen forest with the smells of pine reminiscent of the green trees hanging from the rear view mirror.

We came across another beaver bog with, you guessed it, not a sighting of the creator of said beaver pond.

Our hopes still remain high of seeing one of these crafty wood engineers, and creators of new woodland ecosystems.

After this, we started our climb up Stratton mountain. It was a steady 1,800 foot climb that works the body, in a good way. Muddy holes, rocks and roots still drape the landscape of the trail and will for the remainder of Vermont and probably much of New Hampshire and the rest of the trail. We shall see! I’ll keep you posted.

Lunch today was a little longer than normal since it was a shorter day and we were hungry! This lunch view was provided by a cool mountain stream with sounds that would keep Rip Van Winkle asleep!

After lunch we left the stream and started the climb up Stratton.

Along the way I spotted a new plant that I had not seen before. It is called a painted trillium.

It is a perennial herb that flowers in the summer time. I hope to see one flower soon that I can show you.

Once we reached the top of Stratton peak, we were greeted by a hut that in none COVID years would have a caretaker there that is a wealth of information, but, we have had no such luck meeting these folks.

The view from up here, amazing!!! 10 ⭐️ out of 10 for sure! But, what I saw behind me was far from ten stars, rain. The rain was approaching fast and we had two options, stay in the metal tower and wait out the rain in and enclosed space or put on our best rain hiking face and press on to the Stratton Pond Shelter. We chose the later of the two and pressed on.

Descending down from the evergreen forest to a mix of evergreens and Burch trees we scrambled along rocks, and have learned a new skill. My boys a few years ago called this game, the floor is lava. Out here, we call it the trail is lava! This is the way we conquer these water filled mud holes. I feel like I’m on American Ninja Warrior, you know if you’ve seen it, it’s where they bounce from sided to side trying not to fall across these angled platforms. This continues down the trail mixed in with sandy soil and roots. Oh, let’s talk about the rain, I’m sure you’re wondering. The rain came, but the thunder and the storm that accompanied it never showed up, but we could hear it rumbling angrily in the distance. The rain that fell was again a rain that was light enough to barely make it through the tree canopy onto us. A little ways into the last few miles my left foot was really hurting and I was really wanting to slow down but the desire to stay as dry as possible was greater than the pain. We made it to the shelter just in time to sit and watch the rain fall for a few minutes before saying goodbye. Now, time to roll my feet with my cork ball and try to get rid of this foot pain. Sitting in the shelter I was saddened because right had no phone service which meant I couldn’t talk to Suzanna. It’s always great to talk with the boys and her in the evenings. I didn’t give up hope though! I put my crocs on, in four wheel drive, if you know that reference, you know! I walked around to the different tent sites that I saw with my phone looking for service and I finally found a spot with a tiny bar of LTE service. I set my tent up cooked my dinner and ate, then set out to lay down and rest, journal and then talk to Suzanna. Ending another great day on trail.

Puppy love, out!

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