Black Brook to Stratton Pond Shelter
Miles Hiked: 7.9
Last night before I fell asleep, I watched an episode of The Office. I figured out how to download episodes on Netflix so I can watch them offline and it was so nice to have in my tent! It poured rain all night but I stayed pleasantly dry in my tent. It was really cold but luckily I had brought my sleeping bag liner to add some warmth to my 20 degree sleeping bag.
In the morning I was slow to get on trail. I was aching all over and everything was wet outside. I was not motivated to start hiking in the rain. What a lovely welcome back to the trail!
When I finally got everything packed up and ready to go, it was close to 9am. A significantly late start compared to my normal trail routine. My day began with a 5 mile hike to the top of Stratton mountain. I was trying to avoid getting my feet wet as much as possible and I was successful until the last two miles before camp. The trail was very wet, mudy, and rocky so there were lots of obstacles to navigate around. My hip immediately started to bother me and I was really frustrated. Like yesterday, it kept getting worse and worse the father I hiked. Going uphill is alot harder than going down because I have to lift up my knee so high which uses the hip flexor muscle I think I pulled.
At the summit of Stratton mountain there was a fire tower. I still climbed to the top despite the view being completely socked in ( couldn’t see anything). I was bummed because a sign at the bottom informed me that this is the same view that inspired the creation of the very first long distance hiking trail, the Long Trail, and afterwards, the AT.
From the top of the mountain, it was three miles downhill to the shelter. I had originally planned on hiking farther, but my hip was hurting so bad I decided to stop early. At the shelter I changed into warm clothes so I could stop shivering an then I took care of my feet. After seeing all the dead skin peel off with my bandages, I’m glad I stopped early. Rain gives me so many blisters and my feet are already tender from the Infection.
I shared the shelter with seven other people who are hiking the Long Trail from the Massachusetts/VT border to Canada. I signed the log book hoping to see some NOBO signatures, but it seems like it’s been a while since a NOBO stayed here. Since I got to the shelter early, I spent the rest of the day reading my book in my warm sleeping bag.