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Pfann - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2011

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Country: United States
Begins: Mar 24, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Aug 7th, 2011
Start: Rutland
End: Chateauguay Rd
Daily Distance: 14.5
Trip Distance: 404.1

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,502
Journal Visits: 18,597
Guestbook Views: 391
Guestbook Entrys: 14

Appalachian Trail Map

AWOL's Day 3

August 7

Rutland to Chateauguay Rd, 14.5 miles

The rain finally came. Hikers sit around the Inn in the morning, listening to the rain hit the metal roof and procrastinate, hoping that the rain will stop. Stays at the Inn include a nice breakfast with the cheap hiker room rate. The Inn has a cozy, rustic décor, with many interesting features.

I hiked out in rain jacket and pants, and felt oddly content to be hiking in the rain. This was ordinary for me when I thru-hiked in 2003. This time, I was able to take photos, since I’m now carrying a waterproof camera (Cannon D10).

A few hours into my day, I stopped at Mountain Meadows Lodge on Kent Pond. They have a feeder at the back that attracts hummingbirds, and also a lunch deal that attracts hikers. Thru-hikers "Cheetah" and "DVD" are here looking through their AT Guide and are surprised to meet me. Cheetah is from Amsterdam and he’s on his second thru. DVD got her name at the Neels Gap shakedown where they found her carrying a DVD. No player. I didn’t ask any more about it. These two are super to be around and we were on the same pace through Hanover.

There are two falls in this stretch. The larger, Thundering Falls is near a quarter-mile long boardwalk on the AT. There’s a long climb up Quimby Moutain, same as I remember from my 2003 hike. Weather cleared up a bit, and I took a dry-out break in the clearing of a power line. A long midday break is not in character for me, but I’m trying my hand at self-preservation hiking. My feet are starting to hurt from the wet shoes and rocky terrain.

As darkness fell, I met a thru-hiker on the early part of his attempt at a 50-mile day. He intends to hike through the night. My goal was Chateauguay Road, where I know that there is a stream by the road, so chances are good that there will also be stealth tent sites. Green Mountain Club members please stop reading now.

Hikers are supposed to camp only near shelters in this section, and also it's a common sense rule not to camp near roads because hikers could get harassed by persons driving into the woods to party. I don’t mind bending...okay, breaking...rule one, but am worried about the later, so I look around for a spot deeper into the woods. I see that some yokel has nailed up a sign reading “Caution Logging Ahead,” but with an added “F” to make the middle word “Flogging." There’s also a bunch of toppled, uprooted dead hemlocks. The only flat bit of ground looked to be in the probable landing path of still standing dead trees. Rain is starting to fall and there’s a bit of wind and thunder so I reluctantly choose a roadside site.

I hunkered under my wet and muggy tarp for a long night. The woods are never silent, and in a worried state all sounds morph into the sound of a predator stalking through the woods. Assessing my weaponry, I had the funny thought that I could use my camera flash to scare off any beast. Jimmy Stewart in the woods. I settled on cook pots. I could—actually I did--bang, them together when the imaginary footsteps got too close. That would scare off a bear. Come to think of it, it would also be an extremely effective scare tactic if those footsteps belonged to a night hiker.

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