Mile: 1676.2 - 1700.8
I woke up around midnight convinced a rainy windstorm had rolled in. I leaned out of my tent to frantically fix my tent doors only to realize it was the sounds of the river. Right, half asleep I'm not the sharpest thinker. Despite that one upset I sleep great, I even sleep in a little.
The trail dips down to a road and climbs straight back up to a ridge. The highlight of my morning? When I manage to startle a porcupine. I was pretty excited about the guy and would have hovered much longer but the mosquitos were out and vicious.
The trail rolls for awhile dropping a bit but staying fairly high on the ridges before dipping down to Clarendon Gorge.
The suspension shakes and the river below is drop dead gorgeous, more good things. I decide to head 0.5 miles off trail to Qu's whistlestop diner in hopes of hot coffee, it was a good decision. That's two mornings in a row with hot coffee and blueberry pancakes. Although these are way tastier than mine were. The ladies are lovely and one even gives me a ride back to the trail.
Then surprise surprise it's time to climb. It's not a huge one but rather two shorter steep jumps. Even though I'm a little stuffed I feel really good and am really enjoying today.
It doesn't take long to hit the real climb of the day, Killington Mountain. It's a slow and steady 7 miles and a fair bit of elevation. I'm still feeling good and having a blast. There are glimpses of giant mountains through the trees and it feels chilly and perfect. Only one section is a little on the scrambly side with a ton of roots and steep rocks but it's short and fun.
I'll admit I skip the summit. It's 0.2 miles off trail and I don't feel like going, I have other plans. I pass by the shelter and start the long descent. I feel like it takes forever but I finally hit the real highway and walk 0.8 miles up to the Inn at the Long Trail. It's crowded with mostly long trail hikers but it's fun chatting and meeting new people. Plus one of them had a room with an extra bed. I had planned on tenting but now full, showered and comfy I couldn't be happier.
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