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