BY: Trailblazer footwear buyer, John Sahadi
Running the MA/VT border to the VT/Canada border, The Long Trail in Vermont is the oldest continually marked footpath in the country. Its 272 miles parallels VT-100′s entire length.
On October 12th & 13th I returned to section 5 to continue my northbound Trek. The weather on the first day was odd. It had sun with wind-hail showers with a biting wind. Finding the right clothing combination was tricky, but I think I settled on a t-shirt, rain pants, and a winter hat.
Clipping along at about two miles an hour, I was amazed that most of the foliage was already on the ground. Great, vibrant, colors, but the previous days wind and rain plucked the leaves from their branches. I passed only two hikers, and arrived at my shelter around 5:00 p.m. Much to my surprise, two North bounders checked in around 6:00 p.m.
The three of us shared a dinner as the mercury plummeted. Avoiding shelter mice, I hopped in my tent just before nine to rest my sore legs. What a great site. I chose a spot next to a babbling brook, and put my warm hat on. Waking at 3a.m., I noticed ice crystals in my water bottles forming, so I threw them in the bottom of my sleeping bag. Yes, it was cold. Do I really have to leave my sleeping bag in a few hours?
After a hot tea, bagels and cheese, and a granola bar, I hit the trail. My legs were sore, but definitely in better shape then the previous day. Once the sun came out, the day warmed quickly being the better of the two. I drank a bottle of water, and headed back to my car. I really enjoyed the lower half of division 5. Crossing Clarendon Gorge on the narrow suspension bridge was definitely a highlight, along with the view of Rutland Airport the day before.
I can’t wait to return in May to go up and over Mt. Killington. VT’s second tallest!