Wilbur Clearing shelter (1589.2) to Melville Nauheim Shelter (1612.2)
I wanted an early start but my body rolled back over and grabbed another hour of much needed sleep. It was an easy 3 mile downhill hike to the town of Williamstown. Only a half mile walk to a large grocery store that has all the coffee I wanted and all the fruit I needed. I consumed a large coffee, granola with yogurt and fresh blueberries, a banana, a French Bread Roll and some chocolate milk. I could have eaten more.
The trail out of town would be our last couple of miles in Massachusetts, Vermont was calling. Just a long uphill grind to sign the announced the start of the Long Trail and our entry to Vermont. The Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail share a common path for the first section into the state before the Long Trail continues to the Canadian border. As the crow flies I’m only about 200 miles from the Canadian capital of Ottawa. The Appalachian Trail continues to New Hampshire then Maine.
Vermont has a reputation for being muddy. I wonder if it’s really true. I’ve hiked in Tasmania and New Zealand, so I know a thing or two about mud. Specially some of the mud holes that are knee and thigh deep. Come on Vermont, give it your best shot, I’m ready.
It was slow progress on the tree root covered trail. There were patches of mud but nothing deeper than my shoes. Beavers were active in the area creating dams but I’m yet to see one on the trail.
Late in the day I crossed Highway 9. My hiking buddy Thumper was well ahead of me. I was starting to get very fatigued and not looking forward to the short but steep climb to our ageeed campsite. Next to the trail was a pile Mountain Dew cans. I sculled one of the cans in seconds and felt a rush of sugar and caffeine flow into my muscles. I charged up the hill at a crazy speed. Two young fit hikers that passed me before the climb were overtaken with ease. They didn’t see the stash of Mountain Dew. I reached the campsite only a mile away a full 15 minutes before them, and I stopped to filter water. Mountain Dew is like a performance enhancing drug for hikers.
There was not much flat ground around the shelter so I slept in a sloping, tree root infested camp. Let’s hope for a good nights sleep, I need it.
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