Appalacian Trail - Day 3 - 8/21/12Wintturi Shelter - Thistle Hill Shelter (11.6 Miles)
We wake up pretty early on day three to find the ATers still in camp. I’m a bit surprised after not waking up until well after everyone else had cleaned out of camp the last two nights. I pack up my gear and head out of camp early alone. I want to spend some time by myself this morning and it's a perfect day for it. I trek through the woods and down down down to a road crossing. I pause and use the facilities near where someone had wedged a shoe in a tree.
A NOBO-er who spent the night at “The Lookout” last night passes me and climbs the trail about 200 feet when he pauses and grabs something off of a pine branch on the trail. As I catch up to him he announces, “hey i found a joint!" I laugh and tell him "Its trail magic dude!” “I havn’t had weed for months,” he gasps unbelievingly. I chuckle and head off again on my own never seeing dude again. I suspect he found a nice field and smoked his find.
(no rhyme or reason for this, but it cracked me up and was completey in the middle of nowhere)
I pause and talk to a few chipmunks before getting to a south facing open ridge views of Askutney Mountain. The old guard maple tree watches from the side of the trail on the next decent just before we pop out on the top of this amazing field.
It’s sunny and cool, the bees are buzzing around the wildflowers. I actually run through some of the fields before laying on the bridge at the bottom of the hill and wait for everyone to catch up.
A few stream crossings and log crossing later we catch up to Clothespin, Inchworm, and The PackCow eating lunch. I have no idea what the context of this quote is, but it stuck out in my head and made me laugh so I’m including it. “she's from new zealand, that means shes' not really a person."
The trail switchbacks for awhile and then we pop out into yet another picturesqe Vermont field. A few ATers that passed us an hour ago are snacking under a tree near the stonewall. The field is neatly mowed around the corn but the typical AT 4x4 uprights and well worn single footpath leads you down to the road. It's simply beautiful.
After a short climb and steep decent over yet another ridgeline we pause for water and a wonderful swim in Pomfret Brook. The cold water feels great on our tired feet and muscles.
After cleaning up and grabbing a snack in the stream we have another sweltering climb up to the top of another peak with views back west over Pomfret and Suicide Six. We chat about seeing Great Big Sea two years prior while chomping on another snack. After catching our breath from the climb we head down what was once known as Kings Highway, a long since forgotten thuroway out of Pomfret of years and years ago. The stonewalls are still amazing and I snap a photo or two and pause to ponder the crazy mount of labor involved and think about how soft we’ve become as a species (at least here in the US).
("When in doubt, the AT always goes up")
What feels like hours later we arrive at camp at last. The site is pretty trashed. Lots of garbage and wrappers kicking around really erk me. I chat briefly with Journeyman & Trinket (on their own section journey to Katahdin) who share the shelter with a brittish fella that has just started his own sectioning journey south towards Bennington. I guess as they've been making their way from Connecticut(where they started this year) they've found a lot of waste left behind from the "more entitled thru-hikers" as he put it. He was pretty fired up about how it makes the rest of us out here look poorly, so sat back and enjoyed the venting session for awhile.
The 5 of us find our own tent site behind the shelter with our own fire ring and benches and make ourselves at home. Not wanting to hear anymore about AT thru hiking and just in general wanting to be to ourselves. We found some wood, and pumped water, the typical nightly chores while the PackCow snored away behind the benches. The highlight of the evening had to be when Clothespin created a Mac'n'Cheese-Cheese amazing meal combining a mountainhouse with another packet of deliciousness.
QOTD - "...it's like fat chicks man. If you want to fuck em all you gotta fuck the fat chicks"