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ChrisCotts - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2017

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Chris "Otter" Cotts
City: Alexandria
State: Virginia
Country: United States of America
Begins: Apr 10, 2017
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Fri, May 11th, 2018
Start: Manchester Center VT
End: Manchester Center VT
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 1,520.3
Min Elevation: 1840
Max Elevation: 1840

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 591
Journal Visits: 11,616
Guestbook Views: 597
Guestbook Entrys: 73

Journal Plan

Appalachian Trail Map

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(Click image for full size)

Main Street in Manchester Center VT. It's 360 of mountains her

131, 132 - May 11-12, 2018, Manchester Center VT

This is probably a bad habit for a hiker, but I am getting used to double-zeroing in towns. I was going to zero for one day (just like in Bennington), but, just like Bennington, my departure day weather was rainy and very cold, so I'm staying for an extra day of comfort, food, local beers, and recuperation. The unfortunate and unavoidable consequence is that I'm not making fast miles. By the time I am done here, I will have hiked just about 101 miles in two weeks. That's ridiculous for any serious hiker. Luckily, I am in no way serious about this!

To give you some perspective on my pace and lack of seriousness, let me tell you about somone I met today. While at the (really magnificnt) Manchester Community Library, updating this blog, I met another hiker, named Freak Out. Freak Out is from Belgium and seemed quite calm to me. He started from Springer Mountain, Georgia, on Feb 12 of this year, meaning he has been on the trail, nominally, for 90 days, and he is already here! This is day 131 for me (over the course of two hiking years), so he is moving at nearly 1 1/2 times my pace. Plus, he got socked multiple times with snow storms between the Smokies and the Shenandoahs (some hard hiking territory), and he kept hiking! He is planning to be up Katahdin the day Baxter State Park (in Maine) opens in mid-June. I will be at least 3 1/2 weeks behind him, likely more. Folks, I am not even warming the bench on this team. I might not even be the water boy.

When we parted company, Freak Out said, "I hope to see you up the Trail." I said, "Me too. That would be awesome!" and, I thought, somewhat less likely than achieving a lasting Middle East peace before Christmas. So, you're saying there's a chance...?

I bet wehn Freak Out passes Grumpy and Pappy they'll all commisserate on whether I am fast enough to finish before Baxter closes this fall. I wonder too....

But, I do my wondeingr from the comfort of Manchester Center, a pretty little town in Vermont that I would like to revisit with all of you in the future.

I am safe, dry, and warm in Sutton's Place last night and tonight.

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Journal Photo

A Procrastinator's Journey...

Once I start my hike, you can see my progress and location at any time by checking out my MapShare page at:

You can also e-mail me at or through the guestbook link on this page, and I'll reply when I have connectivity


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