Day 129 – 17.1 miles to Congdon Shelter at 1606.3

Entering Vermont and crossing the 1600 mile mark.

Immediately outside camp was this view down into the valley where the trail now went.

After just 3 miles this morning the trail cut through between two towns and I went left to resupply at a supermarket 0.5 miles ffom trail. I had deliberately decided in this in-section resupply strategy to reduce the weight I had to carry yesterday. Now I had to pickup 2-3 days of food in as quick a time as possible and eat breakfast as well. The literally-titled “Stop-n-Shop was excellent and I had no trouble getting what I needed. Outside I repackaged everything while eating a croissant, pain un chocolat, an apple donut and a tub of fresh blueberries and strawberries and drinking an iced coffee, Nesquik chocolate milk and a fruit yoghurt smoothie. I also used their wifi to blog as there is no cellular signal at the moment. I got to the store about 8:30 and was back on trail at 10 so it was very efficient sojourn.

After a 1600′ drop to get to the road that led to the store it was now a 1600′ climb back into the mountains. It was much harder now I was fully loaded!

At the top of the climb the trail entered Vermont. This really felt like entering the final section – rugged New England. Even with the last day and a bit included, Massachusetts was probably the easiest of all the states. Vermont will up the challenge.

A little later I passed what I presume is a glacial erratic.

With little water around in what is now being described as a drought I had to stop into the Seth Warner shelter to use its river source. But I ended up having lunch sitting IN the river since it had dried up and left only still pools of water. But it was the only water in 10 miles so I had to take it and let the filter deal with the flies and dirt.

The afternoon session of 7 miles featured two things: an overgrown trail where thorny brambles pulled at your skin and clothing; and small flies that buzzed around my head, tried to get into my hair and ears and dive bombed my head. As they operated in squadrons I called them the Vermont Messerschmitt. Spot the trail…

This section is in the Green Mountain which I presume are so called because the undergrowth between trees is very thick. This makes possible stealth camp spots rate and I ended up staying near the Congdon shelter. Several people were also there, all starting Vermont’s venerable Long Trail which runs 270 miles up up to Canada, of which the southern 105 miles is shared with the AT.

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