Saturday, August 28, 2010

LT Day 4

Minerva Hitchney - Secret Shelter (Governor Clement) (9.5)

The morning started out with more rolling terrain with brief views down to Spring Lake.

The trail is framed by raspberry bushes and if you pay attention you're able to snag 3-4 of them every quarter of a mile or so. With this section of trail sharing both AT and LT hikers i was surprised to see ANY berries left. Before long we're treated to our first view of the day at Airport Lookout facing west towards the small airfield in Rutland.

(Airport Lookout)

Just past the look out we all spread out again and i stop for a bit and listen to a robin chirp away at me. From here the trail descends down into Claredon Gorge and then out across a suspension bridge. It seemed really new. It wasn't until we had crossed and read the plaque on the other side that we realized that i was only replaced about 30 years ago. And that the first one had fallen and taken a hikers life that the magnitude and fear of how high up we were really set in.

After crossing route 103 we stopped for a quick snack just past the field and heard a cow go crazy up on the hill. Or at least it certainly sounded like it. Non of us were willing to make the climb to see what was making the racket. It was late morning now and the temperature was rising but to our relief there was coolness coming through the woods. It was because of the cool air still trapped in the the stone ravine we were about to climb. It was cool and crisp and I was having the time of my life, running ahead and sitting and taking photos.

(Claredon Shelter)

After the climb the trail descends again to the Claredon Shelter Spur. We shed our packs and walk over to check it out. Checking the registrar we find that Wink, ToeJam and Tapeworm were here the previous night. One of the nicest shelters we've seen so we stop and sun ourselves in the grass before pushing on down the trial. With a swift upgrade the trail assends Beacon Hill, in the town of Shrewsbury. About halfway up Inchworm says through huffs, "Massacusetts strikes again!" We pass an ATer Southbound and i ask how she'd doing to which i get a fine southern reply of "No complaints from this ol' girl." After Beacon we cross a few stretches of old orchard and beautiful countryside before reaching a pack of trail workers on lunch.
They tell us of the mud ahead, but they have been doing such a good job with the stonework i can honestly say i never noticed. We decide we're never going to make it to the lookout that we thought we'd eat lunch on and settle in a pine needled filled spot next to a trickling stream.
With promise of another ford ahead i can only think about another cool refreshing swim so i dart ahead. Spotting a vista we get our first glimpses of Killington before desending down to the stream well below. At the stream we rend our packs and outer layer of clothes and hop into the cold water where we give our muscles a much needed ice bath.

(Cold River)

After building a few neat cairns i decide it's time to test out my vibrams on the trial with a pack. And for the next mile or two it's great. I hop from stone to stone with my newly rejuvenated attitude. At our next to last road crossing we spot a cooler and perhaps some trail magic. No luck as they cooler was empty and bone dry, the bag next to the cooler FULL of empty cans of coke and mountain dew. We hear a rustling behind us, it's Wink and Salene. She tells us again about her search for the secret shelter and we decided that's the way to go. After a short detour off the trail we find Swansong which is a private shelter that someone built in their backyard. Not too secret though as we shared the site with two other fella's.

(Wink, Crazy Local Guy, Dustin and I)

Quote of the Day
"Can i give your dog a bone?"

1 comment:

leeapeea said...

hadn't realized you HIKED in your vibrams... nice. I like that southern lady... "No complaints from this ol' girl." awesome. :-)