Day 134- July 19 – 19.9 miles – Kid Gore Shelter to William Douglas Shelter
I woke up just in time to see the sunrise from the comfort of my hammock.
Soon after leaving camp, we found out why Vermont was called Vermud.
We passed Tenzing and he looked like he was in a lot of pain. We stopped for a minute to see if there was anything we could do for him. His foot was killing him. We offered to help him get to the nearest road but he declined. He had a look in his eye that said, “I may have to get off the trail, but I’m doing it under my own power.” I felt badly that we didn’t press the matter, but I also knew better than to try to argue with a lawyer.
Eventually, Stoat and I got to the dirt road that Tenzing was heading for. There was a small parking lot that the trail went through. There was a cooler off to the side. Trail magic! There was only one bottle of Gatorade left, which I shared with Stoat.
While we were standing there, two women pulled up in a car. They got out and looked around the parking lot for a pair of trekking poles that they had inadvertently left there the day before. We began to talk to them and they got very excited when they found out we were Thu Hikers. They had brought a cooler with drinks and some snacks with them in case they saw any hikers. They had never heard the term “Trail Angel” before, and were happy to find out that they now qualified to be one.
Flashfire and Zeus showed up and partook in the trail magic as well. Before the women left, they took a picture with us a wished us luck.
After the trail magic, we began our climb up Stratton Mountain, one of the several ski resort mountains we would be going over in the next several days.
At the top there was a caretakers cabin and a fire tower.
On the way up the stairs of the fire tower the wind really picked up once we got above the trees.
There was a great view at the top.
After the fire tower we began to make our way down to Stratton Pond.
I was the first one to get there and I saw two hikers sitting near by. I said hello before really looking at them. When I got closer, I realized it was Rockstar and Steam Machine. We hand’t seen then since we were in Hamburg PA.
I also realized something was wrong. Rockstar had a not-quite-there look to him. He waved back without really seeing me. He had the look of someone trying to get through the funeral of a loved one. I had time to think,” He’s thinking about quitting”, before Flashfire came down the trail and yelled out in glee.
That seemed to snap Rockstar out of it. If anything was going to snap him out of it, it would be one of Flashfires loud / happy greetings.
We stopped to eat lunch and hang out with Rockstar and Steam Machine. Stoat and I took a quick dip in the pond. It was cold and refreshing.
While eating lunch, Rockstar mentioned to Stoat that he missed playing with his heavy metal band back in Germany. That wasn’t a good sign. The Tramily tried to lift his spirits before we left.
Less than two miles after we left the pond, we came to a small wooden bridge. I stopped in the middle and waited for Stoat. When he got there I gave him a high five. He was a little confused as to why we were high fiving until I said,”Three quarters.” Then he understood. We were at the 3/4 point of the Appalachian Trail.
Three miles later we came to the side trail that led to the William Douglas Shelter. It would have been a half mile walk down to side trail to the shelter. The Tramily was not interested in doing that. We found some places to camp nearby instead.
I wound up hanging my hammock right on the bank of a small stream.
While we cooked and ate dinner, we were attacked by mosquitoes. Stoat and Zeus tried covering their heads to ward off the insects.
After eating, we quickly headed into out tents / hammocks to avoid the bugs.
It was easy to fall asleep to the sound of water making its way down through the mountains.