Note: This is written as if I wrote it all the day of the hike. It was actually compiled from my memories and notes that I took on my phone as I hiked and written much later.
5am – Wake-up
5:30am – Head out
6:09am – Sunrise
8am (4.9 ) – Snack at Story Spring Shelter
12pm (12.3) – Lunch on Stratton (Cheese/Crackers/Sausage)
1pm (15.5 [9.25]) – Refill at Stratton Pond Shelter
3:30pm (20.9 ) – Snack at William B Douglas Shelter
5pm (24.5 [14.25]) – Refill at Spruce Peak Shelter
7pm (29.5 ) – Stop at Bromley Shelter (Chicken/Stuffing/Mashed Potatoes) Tent sites to the north
7:23pm – Sunset (13 h 14 min)
9pm – Sleep
I had unfortunately developed a blister the day before on the back of my heel. So I woke up and threw some duct tape and guaze on it and headed off while it was still dark. It sucks getting water in the dark. I couldn’t see where the bag was or the best place to go was. But I had had dreams of drinking large glasses of water, so getting water in the morning was high on my mind.
Near the base of Stratton I ran into a section hiker from NJ, Divide and Conquer near a pleasant stream. I think he was stopping for the night right there, which seemed a bit early. But everyone hikes their own hike. 🙂
Stratton was pretty steep but steady and I made it up approximately on time. There were a number of people on top having lunch already, several groups of thru-hikers and Hue(?) the caretaker there. I signed his book, listened the chatter a bit. It was mostly about trees and diseases sweeping through the forests and efforts to control them. I pushed on quickly after finishing my meal. It was getting even more crowded at the top and there were no views.
Stratton Pond Shelter was beautiful and I chatted with a couple of women staying here overnight. But I had started to fall behind now so I popped a couple of Excedrin, turned on my music, and plowed on through toward Bromley. The rain started sometime in the middle gently and then not so gently at all. I became soaked all the way through. I actually didn’t mind. I love the rain and it keeps me from overheating. But it started to get dark as well so mentally it was taking its toll when I happened upon Bromley shelter.
The shelter was full of Princeton orientation students who had just finished dinner. I assumed my chances of staying in the shelter were next to nothing, but luckily they were tenting. So I got the whole large shelter to myself, only sharing it with the many mice about that night.
|Story Spring Shelter, in the morning|
|Planks in woods|
|Base of Stratton|
|The hut on top of Stratton|