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Division Four of the Long Trail: Mad Tom Notch to Vt 140

Day 8 Continued... 8/14/15: Mad Tom Notch to Lost Pond Shelter.

There was no real water source until after Baker Peak so, the water cache was really necessary and I was happy to have the water. Beast somehow got on trail and caught up. Showing up all sweaty and huffing and puffing. He picked up one of the jugs and took a big drink. I was slightly disgusted as people (like myself) use these to fill up our bladders. I said nothing though. Quiet and a mouse. I really wanted to distance myself from the Bromley crew. I felt the need to either be on my own or at least with people closer in age. We took our time heading up Styles Peak as we dealt with switchbacks and really hot temps. Once we got there, it was really crowded for the small view and we didn't stay long. There were other peaks to climb today too. Descending to a flat path, and then ascended almost immediately to rocks and switchbacks to Peru Peak. This day would be full of ups and downs. Isis and I were on our way to lunch at Peru Peak shelter. We were determined to make our goal again today. Peru Peak had no view so we went up and over without blinking. A lot of the peaks in Vermont have no markers so, you never even acknowledge the top. I kind of like this. It's just hiking. We descended to another flat section that lead up to lunch at the shelter with everyone that I was trying to get away from. They did not seem to welcoming any more. Isis and I had our lunch and talked to those that wanted to talk. The rest we let be. We had 5 more miles to go before our shelter for the night. 

It was now the heat of the day and I had my huge pack on still full of resupply. My feet were clumsy today too. Isis had some fits and stops in the heat as well but we kept going. As I walked, I started to think about the 48, the grid, Peak counting, and the general rat race in New Hampshire and I came to the conclusion that none of that really matters any more. Long distance hiking seemed to be way more fulfilling. I was struggling but still moving forward. Isis and I began to climb again and got to the junction (so we were told) for Baker Peak. I in turn told Giggly Gus what I was told about going around but as it turns out, you can't. We scrambled back over our tracks and up Baker to a beautiful view of Dorset Peak.

As we crested the top and took a break, the breeze was nonexistent. It was now two miles to my drop point for the night. Time to get moving and lucky for us, it was mostly down hill. The trail itself was a lot of bog bridges by the lake and then pretty flat. We ran back into Beast. Isis growled and he (a big "man") jumped. I kind of laughed... Most were moving on to the next shelter so, I was happy to stay put. We made camp at Lost Pond Shelter for the night with just a few sectioners like myself. It was nice and quiet. Isis and I had dinner, chatted and then went to our tent for the night.

There is no right or wrong way to hike. There is only YOUR way to hike. I really enjoy that mentality out here as we all hike our own hikes and come together at the end of the day... Who ever is at the shelter is always glad to see someone come in and sit and chat. I hike to Isis' pace and it works for us. She maxes out at about 12 miles so, we stop and rest. Tomorrow should be another 12 mile day.

Day 9: 8/15/15: Lost Pond Shelter to VT 140

As I sit here, in my tent, I have bandaged up hiker feet. Blisters were huge when I got into camp. I left this morning around 7am. The hike over started relatively flat and easy. I could feel my feet rubbing my shoes. I seemed to make it to big branch in no time so I sat and had a snack while Isis rested. It was a nice shelter, right on the river and seemed peaceful yet small. We continued to Little Rock Pond which was a decent 1.7 miles. The weather was warming up but the trail was mostly flat. Little Rock Pond was very nice once we got there. We stopped in at the shelter where Tumbles and Scout as well as Lost and Found and Let it go were having breakfast. Another snack break for us. We We chatted but didn't stay too long since we had many miles to cover. Lost and Found (who is 11) has really been teasing Isis so, I figured it would be best to move on. It was 5 miles to lunch given the distance that Greenwall Shelter was off the trail. Isis and I were slowing down a little again as my feet were clumsy and hurting. As we were walking though, I ran into someone I work with who was hiking South Bound. Funny I had forgotten that she was going to be out at this time too and didn't think I would run into her. Small world! As the heat of the day came in, we pressed on.

On our way to Greenwall Shelter, we passed a lot of Cairns that made the trail look like a sculptured rock garden. I also caught up to Magician who I met at my last shelter where I stayed the night and he was talking to some kids about hiking the AT. I stopped briefly but wanted to keep going. Beyond that group were three men... At first look, they had no shirts on. At second look, they had no pants on either. Just packs and shoes. Naked hikers! I did not take pics as that would be rude. I did talk with them and they were very nice. Tumbles was coming down the trail but ran back to warn Lost and Found as well as Let it go. Finally making it to Greenwall shelter, I stopped for lunch (Yay Tuna!). It was tempting to stay but I really wanted to stay on track at this point and take advantage of the good weather. Tumbles and Scout were taking another break to camp with their friend Wildcat who was heading South on the AT. I wished them all good luck as I did not know if I would see any of them again. The AT/LT split was coming soon. From Greenwall, it was down to Vt 140 to cross.

Division Four Completed!

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