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Daniel's Journal Aug 18-21



Tuesday, August 18
 It has been a long time since I wrote in my journal.  One day has
blurred into another to make one great adventure.  I will attempt to
recall as much as possible and set forth the record as briefly as I can
without missing too many details.
 Tonight I lay in my tent that was built by Kurt Russell.  The light is
waning fast.  Rain is pattering gently outside.  Every now and then it
beats down violently, as if it is angry that it can not make me wet.
I am camped at Shermon Brook Campsite 1½ miles north of Williamstown.
 My bus arrived at 2 p.m. in Williamstown today.  I met Goob at the bus
stop.  He was waiting for a ride.  The library was across the street
from the bus stop, so I checked if they had Internet access.  They did,
so I checked my email.
 Next stop was the Mountain Goat outfitters.  I had stashed my pack
behind the store.  There was a pile of lumber covered by a blue tarp.
It made a perfect hiding place.  I pulled aside the tarp and there was
my pack just as I had left it.  Everything was all right.  I packed in
my food, and hoisted my pack.  It was so heavy.  I said goodbye to Red
and Squish whom I met at the outfitters and headed for a phone.
 I had just finished making my call when a man stopped and struck up a
conversation.  In the end he offered to take me to the AT.
 Back on the trail again!  The first person I met was Salt!  I had
camped with him one time in Southern VA.  It was great to see him
again.  We hiked together to Shermon Brook Campsite and set up camp.
For supper, I ate bagels and cream cheese.  It started to rain about
7:30, so I went to bed early.

Wednesday, August 19
 Beautiful day today.  It sure was cold last night.  I can see my breath
this morning!
A steep climb up out of camp, and a beautiful view of Williamstown.  A
mile farther and I came to the Vermont line.  I took a picture of myself
standing next to the sign.  Thanks to Olympus for putting a timer on my
camera.
 The Vermont line is the beginning of the Long trail.  For the next 93
miles the AT and Long trail run together.
It was about 1:30 when I got to Congdon Shelter.  There was a nice sunny
spot in front of the shelter, so I spread out my things to dry.  I ate
lunch and chatted with the others who walked in.  Salt caught up with me
there.  Captain, Jesse Hoffman, and Red Rock are North Bounders who were
slacking.  Brian was a South Bounder.
When I got to VT RT 9, Red Rock’s wife was there, waiting for him.
Captain and Jesse were already there and eating sandwiches and drinking
soda.  They offered me a coke.  It hit the spot.
 I stopped for the night at the Melville Nauheim Shelter.  I ate Ramen
noodles and my last bagel with cream cheese.
 The shelter wasn’t full, but I chose to sleep out under the stars.
Salt camped here at the shelter too.  The other hikers here are three
ladies who are out for a week.  And John Mast who is hiking the Long
trail for ten days.  All four are nice folk.
 Today I hiked 18 ½ miles.  I climbed from 1500 ft to 3,000 ft down to
1400 ft and back up to 2500 ft. No wonder my knees ache.

Thursday, August 20
 Sure am glad for my 20-degree sleeping bag.  It was another cold
night.  I got up early and was hiking by 6:30.  I want to go 24 ½ miles
today.
 I hike by myself on the trail, but when I stop at a shelter there are
often other hikers around.
 By keeping a good pace, I made nine miles to Goddard Shelter by 9:30.
I took ½ hour to sign the register, and get some water.  I spoke briefly
with two hikers who are out for the week.  The view from Goddard is
fantastic!
 .3 miles north of the shelter is the top of Glastonbury Mt.  I climbed
the observation tower and enjoyed a beautiful view.  You could see for
miles.  I ate my lunch in the tower.  Three south bounders joined me:
Spirit, Faith Walker, and Graceful.
 As I was about to leave, Captain came up and stopped for a break.  He
was slacking again with his two friends.
 I stopped again in four miles at the Kid Gore Shelter.  There I ate a
snickers.
 Next I stopped at Story Spring Shelter.  It was 3 p.m.  My early lunch
did not last long and I was hungry, so I had lunch #2.
 Samson and Turtle and Simple were all taking a break at the shelter so
I was in good company.
 Soon after the shelter, I crossed a road.  A pickup was parked there
and two ladies were sitting on the tailgate.  They asked me if I had
seen a hiker by the name of Maniac.  I had not.  They informed me that
he was speed hiking the Long trail and they were running support.  They
offered me a coke and Oreo cookies.  I decided it was time for another
break. :)  One of the ladies was Knewitall.  She is a south bounder, who
is taking time off to help Maniac speed hike.  He is planning to hike
the long trail in five days and 12 hours.  The Long Trail is around 200
miles.  The other lady only knew Spanish so she did not talk much.
 After the road, I had only a few more miles to go, and one big
mountain.  Stratton Mt. is the tallest mountain in Southern VT.  It is
3945 ft high.  At the road where my climb started it was 2400 ft.  That
was a long climb!  Thankfully it was not steep!  The view from the top
was excellent!  It was 7:30.  I could see Mt. Greylock to the South.
Fifty miles away!  The Mountains are beautiful!
 I stayed the night at Stratton Mountain ski patrol lodge.  They leave
the hut open for thru hikers.  It makes a nice place to stay if it is
rainy.
 Got Milk and Skitz were there.  It was great to see them again.  There
were also two south bounders there who were hiking the Long Trail.
 I did it!  24½ miles.

Friday, August 21
I did not get as early a start today because I had only 13 miles to
Manchester Center.
 After hiking down Stratton Mt. I came past Stratton pond.  Looked like
an excellent place for a swim, but it was still cool so I passed it by.
 I enjoyed a little break by Winhall River with Got Milk.  Mt. Laurel
and Wild Guess stopped there too and talked with us a few minutes.
 My next stop was Spruce Peak Shelter.  There I ate some chocolate and
peanut butter for a snack.  Simple and Salt caught up with me and we
hiked on together.
 Salt and I stopped at Spruce peak and enjoyed a great view of
Manchester Center.
 At Rt. 11&30 we had to hitch five miles to Manchester Center.  Simple
got to the road first, and waited for Salt and I.  We got to the road
and were just standing there talking when a mini van stopped.  The lady
wondered if we needed a ride to the P.O.  We did, so we piled in.  At
the P.O. we gave her a big thank you!
 We got our mail, and then walked to the Zion Church Hostel.  I was
amazed to see fourteen tents behind the church.  A few of the hikers who
were there were Long Drop, Granny Low, Bug Bite, 20/20, Plush D and
Abby, Simple, Salt, Samson, Turtle, Got Milk, Skitz, and Tin Man.  Some
I had met before and others I had not.
 Well, now that I was in town there were things to do.  Get my food for
the next five days.  Send ahead my bump box.  Go to the outfitters.
Browse through the bookstore.  Try to find a library with Internet
access. (No luck)  Do my laundry.  Eat ice cream at Friendly’s.  Well,
now it is past my bedtime!  It is 10 p.m.  I spread out my therma rest
on the floor and Goodnight to all.




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