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Elliott - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2009

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Carla "Chef" Elliott
Country: Canada
Begins: Apr 6, 2009
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Oct 27th, 2009
Trip Distance: 166.9

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 964
Journal Visits: 4,507
Guestbook Views: 167
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Last PLB Location

Appalachian Trail Map

The last hurrah

Sarge and I managed to get back on the trail, no problem... although, finding cheapish digs in Rutland on a long weekend at the hight of fall foliage season was difficult, but we persevered. Our first night back, the temperature dipped down into the 20'sF (below 0C), which was chilly, to say the least. Even after swapping out my sleeping bag for my mom's 20F/-7C bag, I was cold. Guess I should have paid more attention to the label on the bag... the darn thing's older than my 32F/0C bag, so probably effectively only a bit warmer! Oh well, I had a nice hot water bottle, a dog, and Sarge to snuggle up to, so I was fine. Getting up in the morning (and any cold morning, really) was a chore... we didn't hit the trail until 10am, in snow on Killington. Yes, snow. We've seen a bit of the white stuff lately, although the last week has been significantly warmer. It's that time of year - temperature and weather all over the place, combined with elevation changes. We've hiked in everything from 75F sun to 20F snow to 50F rain in the past few weeks, with 20mi days and 5mi days.

I ended up caving and buying a new pair of boots and gaiters in Manchester Center, VT after 4" of slushy snow soaked and froze my feet... had to put on warm, dry socks and plastic bags to cope, and road walking to Peru instead of climbing Bromley, then hitching to Man. Center. Trail runners aren't the best for that kind of hiking. Sarge had to get new boots, too, since the Gore-Tex in his new ones failed. We ended up with the same boots, his and hers Keens. Go figure...

Bennington, VT is a really cool town with a great secret 'hostel' (look for the hiker mannequin), had decent (but cold) weather for Greylock. The trail runs right through Dalton, MA (and right by trail angel Tom Levardi, who fed us and sheltered us from the cold) and Great Barrington, MA was a great stop. Slackpacking is always nice, and Kent, CT has a great cafe. CT is more of a rollercoaster than the rollercoaster in VA. Currently at the home of an angel we met right after Sarge and I started hiking together in Shenandoah. Crazy to think that we've been hiking together for 3 months...

Hoping to 'leapfrog' slackpack the remaining miles, since Sarge is off buying a car at the moment. We'll drive together to a trailhead, then one of us will start hiking while the other drives to a trailhead ~20mi away, and hike towards the first person. Swap keys when we pass each other, then the first person picks up the car and gets the second at the first trailhead. Why didn't we think of this earlier? We could have done the whole trail this way! We got a hitch from a guy who has a motorcycle hitched to his truck - he drives to a trailhead, drops off his truck, bikes to another spot, hikes, picks up his truck then drives to his bike. He has the back of the truck all set up like a luxury mobile tent, and only has ~500mi left to go. Genius.


So there it is. Next time I update, I will in all likelihood be done. Done hiking the Appalachian Trail.


Wow.

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Journal Photo

Appalachian Trail - 2009

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. Conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937, it traverses the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Learn more: www.appalachiantrail.org

 

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