Now that I didn’t have a set schedule, I just let myself go. I slept in until 8:30 in the morning. Crazy, I know.
I met a Middlebury orientation group in the morning on the trail. I don’t want to completely stereotype, but there was a marked difference between the Princeton groups and the Middlebury groups. The Princeton groups seemed almost military in their precision and control. No one talked to me socially and they were almost too polite. The Middlebury group clustered around me and peppered me with questions. They seemed much less structured.
I made Sunrise Shelter by 1pm. I considered staying the night but I was thinking about getting picked up at Middlebury Gap and I didn’t want to hike through the incoming storm the next evening. So I pressed on up the Horrid Cliffs…what a name.
Ahead of me for a while was Snowcat. I think I even met her on Killington doing a slackpack. However, she continually dissed the quality of the trails in the registers I had passed. It sort of annoyed me because she wasn’t being usefully critical, she was just being negative. She was only less than a day ahead of me and if I had not been in pretty bad pain I would have ran faster to catch up and tell her to cut it out. But I was popping painkillers every two hours at that point, alternating between NSAIDs and tylenol.
I got to Sucker Brook Shelter and started setting up my camp for the night. I texted my sister and told her I was near Middlebury and she got really excited and told me she could come pick me up THAT NIGHT. She was several hours away, but I think she liked the idea of coming to my rescue. Well, I sure appreciated it since I was feeling a bit miserable limping along and there was a storm coming along.
So I popped even more Excedrin and pushed through the pain (it was just the dull ache and not the intense pain from the first day). After getting lost coming down the Snow Bowl into Middlebury Gap (the ski slopes are really open and it’s hard to find the trail on the opposite side), I eventually made it to the highway late in the evening. I sat there for a couple hours in the drizzling rain and waited for my sister.
I had failed in my attempt to do an 11-day LT hike, but I discovered something new about my boundaries and gotten a good amount of experience. The first four days I had kept a grueling pace and most of my body had actually gotten used to the pace. I had high hopes that I could someday accomplish the feat. It would just require more training and logistics preparation.
|Not sure what this was of, but it’s a nice pic|
|The sunset over my last mountain was a nice sendoff|
|Shot from the top of the Snow Bowl|
|This is the blister on the back of my heel.
A year later and I still have a scar there.