LT 2014 Day 4: Minerva Hinchey Shelter to Inn at Long Trail

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.

Planned Schedule:
4:30am – Wake-up

5am – Wake-up
5:30am – Head out

6:11am – Sunrise
8am (5.9 [3.5]) – Snack at Governor Clement Shelter
12pm (10.2 [10.25]) – Lunch on Killington (Peanut Butter/Tortillas)
1:30pm (14.7 [12.5]) – Churchill Scott Shelter
4pm (17.6 [14]) – Check-in at Inn at the Long Trail
6pm – Dinner at Inn
7:19pm – Sunset (13h 8m)
9pm – Sleep
I woke up at 4:30am, earlier than normal, to try to catch up with my itinerary from my early stop the evening before.  It was really dark so I had my headlamp on.  About a half an hour into my hike, however, my headlamp just cut out.  That pretty much meant that I just had to sit down and stop.  Hiking in the pitch black is not very manageable.  But then while I was fiddling with it, it flipped back on.  There is a loose battery compartment, overall not a very good design.  In my haste to get started again, I forgot my gloves on the rock I was sitting on.  The gloves are mostly a luxury but I might have to deal with hand blisters.

Somewhere after I climbed across a road and up a gorge I found a pile of rocks spelling HAZ.  I assumed that meant the nearby trickle of water was contaminated.  The whole area felt kinda dead and creepy so I probably wouldn’t have filled up there anyway.

Before I got to the base of Killington there was some trail magic, a case of root beer in a stream.  I was so excited!  It was empty.  I was devastated.  But I trudged up the side of Killington.  The mountain got really rooty near the top.  In fact, it was some of slowest terrain I’ve been on for the elevation gain.  And my heart palpitations were getting worse.

Near the top I found a thru-hiker named Chewy.  He was part of a group of NOBOs (I think) who were slackpacking from the north over Killington for the day.  We scrambled up the top and it was actually an amazing view.  By far the best view I had had on the entire trail.  Not that I took a picture.  I was kind of running on fumes at that point.  Back down at the Killington hut the rest of Chewy’s gang from Georgia wanted to give me a trail name with an X just because they had never met a hiker with an X trail name.  After rejecting XXX and X-men for not even having a decent story to go with the name, they eventually gave up and I continued on.

On the way down the mountain I met an older hiker wearing LL Beans full catalog.  He told me I should drink olive oil for a longer life.  I thanked him for the advice and continued on.

My leg had been feeling tight and kinda sore since the other side of Killington but I had ignored the pain.  Suddenly when I was only a couple miles from the bottom, the pain went from a dull ache to a piercing, intense pain that made me tear up.  It was excruciating and I proceeded to limp the rest of the way down.

At the bottom I finally got real trail magic in the form of a cooler full of soda from a hostel in Rutland.  I really appreciated it, but I already had reservations and I was looking forward to a cold beer from the Inn at the Long Trail.  So I finished limping up the road to the inn.  I was not so sure what was going to happen at that point.

My room at the Inn at the Long Trail

A card from my son in my resupply

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