Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 29

The rain and wind slacked off during the night; I got up at 3:30 to use the bathroom and the sky was clear. I knew it would be a beautiful day...and it was indeed! The morning was cool but the day warmed in the sunshine. At the base of the first climb we came to a spot in the trail that was like a swampy stream with no way around. We ended up taking our shoes off, putting our crocs on, and wading through it for about a tenth of a mile. We had lots of climbing today and it took a toll on my body...I was exhausted after the first climb, and we still had about 2300 more feet to go up! Smarts Mountain was a tough climb, particularly the last 500 feet...very steep trail and lots of slick rocks with water running down them. We finally got to the top and climbed up the fire tower for a spectacular view, but a cold one! We filled up on water at the shelter on the summit and wanted to put a few more miles in. The descent was frustrating as the trail was a mudhole practically the entire way. We came to a bog with a few planks spread across. Bear Bag crossed first, walking on a branch that was supported by a sunken plank and a plank at the end. He balanced his way across and only at the end discovered how deep the mud/muck was...
I started across nervously. The branch, only a few inches in diameter, shifted underneath my feet and I leaned onto one of my poles for support...except the pole kept sinking. If you want an adrenaline rush, try crossing a thigh-deep bog/swamp/mudpit on a wobbly log, and putting all of your weight down on a pole you expect to sink only a few inches. My weight came crashing down on my pole, offsetting my balance even more, until it finally hit bottom a few feet down. I had a couple more wobbles like that and breathed a huge sigh of relief to be on solid ground again...falling into that would not have been pleasant!
Lots of moose scat today as well...we've seen a lot and a few tracks, but no moose yet! It's the last animal on my list to see out here so I hope I do see one.
The forest was thick and we ended up walking until 7 before we found a place to camp. We cooked dinner sitting on the trail and went to bed right after. Doing a few extra miles today, as opposed to stopping at the shelter on Smarts, will shorten tomorrow to about 16.
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  1. Thanks for the updates. So glad to hear you and Bear Bag are OK and that you have managed to collect some extra supplies. Irene really made a mess of Vermont. Hang in there and be safe.

  2. I'm glad to hear you two are safe and sound. Looking forward to the rest of your journal.

  3. I am so glad to hear you all made it through OK. Was starting to get worried with so much distruction that Irene caused. Keep on it.

    Thank you for the update.


  4. Been following from the start after happening upon your Youtube video, and just wanted to say that I'm glad that you guys are alright.

    That's some scary stuff up there. Be safe, and enjoy your journey!

  5. Rain, rain and more rain from tropical depression Lee. Ya gotta be waterlogged by now for sure.