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Stage Rd to Dupris Hill Northbound AT in Woodstock VT.

Today was about walking. Not about time or miles, not about being the fastest or the slowest, it's just walking. I skipped up to Stage Rd in Woodstock VT because there is a shelter in the section before hand that I want to do an overnight in (The Look Out). So, I will flip back and tie up that loose end later. Today, it's raining but not enough to really be concerning. We need the rain so, I am far from complaining. I tossed on my rain shell and Isis and I got on trail after pulling off on Stage Rd in Woodstock VT. There's only room for about 2 cars here and as my luck would have it, I'm the second car. Crossing the foot bridge, we are on our way...

Almost immediately after the foot bridge, we begin crossing huge open fields with borders of foliage. The weather seems to enhance the colors.The trail here is pretty easy but it's not flat. There is some climbing today at a low elevation. We walk back into the woods after crossing a road and continue to gain a small amount of elevation. 

I come across some crazy big blow downs and one crazy looking tree that is still standing. There's a ton of established stealth sites in this area for camping. Crossing a clearing, you then head back over more open fields with bog bridges to help and posts with blazes on them to follow. Not that the trail is not well worn in this area. It's practically carved into the ground. Such a beautiful day in the rain so far. The trail is also quiet except for a few blue jays that seem to follow us. Getting ready to cross yet another road, we again duck into the woods. This time, the green tunnel lasts for a while and follows a rock wall. The trail is wide enough for an ATV to travel on it. Even absent of views, this day has been refreshing. 

After you walk the "road", you come to a split with a sign and you again begin to climb. There is a chill in the air here as we continue. Ultimately, I'd love to get to Thistle Hill but I know that I'm pushing my time today. It's Sunday which means I need to work tomorrow so, I am slack packing and need to be mindful of my time to get back to the car. I know, I know, I have a head lamp but, something in me always wants to get back to the car in day light, especially in unfamiliar Vermont. The trail opens up and we are heading to another bald. There are some small fir trees mixed in on the sides of the trail and all I want to do is decorate them for christmas. We come to rest at the top of the bald, no view and I choose to head back from here. I can pick it up again next time. So, we turned back at Dupris Hill. I bet on a clear day, the view is really pretty. 

Back tracking is pretty easy and goes by rather quickly the one water crossing is low and easy and the trail as always is in good shape so, much like heading in, heading out is the same. It just feels good to be on trail today and my mind has been drifting between this endeavor to section hike the AT and my final section of the LT. My head is slowly getting back in the game as well, I am feeling peaceful again. I'll admit that stress and uncertainty has been contributing to my lack of enthusiasm for these weekly walks. Striking a balance with my mind, and being OK with doing these small slack packs seem to help me keep going as I creep my way to the New Hampshire border. My goal right now is to do what I can before the snow flies and then head back to The Whites for some fun on the less crowded trails in the Whites. Ultimately, I'd like to see myself complete as much of the AT in New England as I possibly can and with Vermont and New Hampshire virtually completed, I think it's a reasonable goal. 

Someone has her bi-annual vet visit next weekend so, it looks like another slack pack on Saturday, if I can get out... Maybe after that, I'll get one last over night and pick up that skipped section with an over night at the Look Out (It has a wood stove). Lots to look forward to as the leaves continue to turn in anticipation of the flakes beginning to fall. 

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