Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 AT Section Day 1

Appalacian Trail - Day 1 - 8/19/12
VT Route 4 - Stony Brook Shelter (10 Miles)

Hours removed from Moosalamoo it was time to shoulder our packs.  As Dustin loads up his rig with our packs he yells out a, "JESUS CHRIST!" between each lift.  I can only laugh and say, "yeah, we didn’t pack well for this did we?"  Twenty minutes later we pulled into the Sherbern Pass packing lot and have a few Long Trail hikers snap a photo.  A goofy kid with a white afro runs out of the supply truck and shouts out "say cheese!!"  Lula wanted nothing doing with this guy and goes nuts. (you can see her giving him the look in the photo)

Lula bounds past us happy as can be even though she's wearing her pack for the first time.  "Huh, leash didn't last long," Dustin says while we chat about our first time thru this stretch.  The good memories and bad memories of this trail.  Dustin and Heather with fresh legs after two zeros heading toward Quebec.  Leah and I happy it's not pouring like it was for us last year.  At the split it feels good and odd to leave the Long Trail.  I’ve hiked some of the AT prior in segments in Maine and obviously when I hiked the LT, but never with the intent on hiking the AT.  The trail is realitivly well traveled being a beautiful Sunday in August.  People see us, and the size of our packs and assume we’ve been on the trail for weeks.  I feel oddly sheepish saying, “well, we just started today,” as we pass.    "I think her laziness is working in her favor"  Dustin says about Lula.  “She should work coorporate,” I chip in.  Dustin follows it up with, “she could be CEO!”  “She should work for the government,” Leah says.  It’s obvious we haven’t shaken the office attitude yet.

Leah, Heather and I chat about our gardens and picking adventures when ahead of us we hear a yell.  "oh no....OH NO! NO NOOO!"  We race down the trail and I start laughing histarically. The girls are quickly behind me and looking very concerned.   Turns out that Lula has found a really nice mud pit and decided to roll around in it to cool off.  

As we head through Gifford State park I laugh about the experience from Day 5 where we tried to stay here years before.  (blog link)  

We get to the first detour from the Irene storm a year ago around kent pond before getting to a wonderful view out and over the water.   The trail borders the pond for a bit before coming out to a nice fire ring and dock at Mountain Meadows Lodge.

A few miles later and we are forced onto another detour around thundering falls. I’m bummed because I was really looking forward to the boardwalk over the ottawaqueechee bog area. After reviewing the Long Trail magazine the photo and article they posted made perfect sense for why they detoured.

(Full Article can be read from the GMC website here)

The detour ended at another road crossing and we’re faced with our first serious climb of the day. And the climb continues, and switchbacks, and continues more. We pause and wipe the sweat from our heads. The Fortin’s and Lula dart ahead seemingly as fresh as daisies. Leah and I sucking wind, legs exhausted from the race the day prior.

We eat our lunch on the trail and push forward.  A couple of runners heading south on the AT see Leah's Peak Ultra Race shirt and tell me that i'm crazy for running it.  I say, "well I didn’t do the death race. It was only the 53 miler."  I guess i am crazy.  It’s amazing how your perspective changes.  I tell them i'll see them at the VT50 and we part ways toward camp.

The four of us are physically spent as we make the last decent to the shelter. After setting up camp Dustin and I walk down the trail for a bit, free of our packs for the first time of the day and pump water for dinner. 

We share Stony Brook Shelter with 4 NOBOs (North Bound AT Hikers).  They’ve got plenty of stories.  One couple actually had been on the AT in the 100 mile wilderness during the week of Irene last year and had been fording water crossings that were 3’ higher than they were normally.  Feeling completely exhausted we all turn in well before the AT-ers.  It was comforting falling asleep to them chatting away by a crackling fire.

(Day 1 - Home Sweet Home)

QOTD - "What kind of bird was that?!?"

1 comment:

leeapeea said...

Was it a peregrine falcon? Or maybe a migrating goose?

That pic of Lula cracks me up. :-)