Saturday, August 1, 2009

Turbo Slackpackers!

7-23-09 day 51
start: VT 140, VT
end: U.S. 4, VT
daily mileage: 23.7
total mileage: 677.9

So, without being too confusing our original plan was to leave Rutland today, hitch back to Wallingford along rt. 140, pick up Disney's package, and hike ~14 miles north from rt. 140 back toward Rutland. After looking in the book however, I discovered it was only 24 miles between VT 140 and US 4 (the next road into Rutland). Since our gear was already here we decided we could slackpack the whole distance and stay another night with the 12 Tribes. Cool! The only problem is that we didn't start hitching until 10, and after an hour of no luck we finally got a ride, and after the PO and a trip back to the trail head it was almost noon. 24 miles after 12 o'clock? No problem! Knowing we were not going to get in until after dark already, we tore up the miles. Around the Clarendon Shelter I got turned down the wrong road and Disney unwittingly got ahead of me. After not seeing me for a long time he began to hustle to catch me, while I, still behind, was literally running to catch him. After reuniting we climbed Mt. Killington as it was getting dark. The mountain was ominous. The terrain was not too steep but the edge of the trail was a sheer cliff and the road was covered with tree roots and rocks. It was dim under the canopy and mist was literally swirling around through the thick undergrowth. Dead moss covered trees were all over the place, if there was a lone raven cawing it would have been perfect. We hiked in true darkness for about an hour, trying to see how far we could go without flashlights. We got to the road at around 9:30 and waited for one of the guys from the hostel to come get us. Sitting on the side of the interstate in the dark was fun...we ate cookies.

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