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2020-06-17 at 17:36 #7872Udar GromovKeymaster
05:09 wake up in Boston. +12°C Everything is ready, but still check work emails, print weather forecast (05:19).
06:19 depart home for an obscure trailhead in VT. For the last 10 weeks of isolation I did only 452 miles on the car for all purposes. Now resetting the counter to measure this new trip.
08:09 95.2 miles – 42 mile remains. +13°C Rest area in Guilford, VT on route 91. Main visitor center building is closed and there are only 2 lonely portable toilets on the parking lot. Finished to eat oats porridge cooked at home. Took off 2 thin wind breakers. How VT will treat me on this trip?
09:19 135.2 miles +16°C Arrived to a please where AT crosses forest route 71 in Stratton, VT. This is the end of the hike for this section. Hiding bike into the woods. Very weak signal brings a work request. That will have to wait till a better signal area reached. Hiding of a bike off the road is the first procedure where you submerge into deep woods and begin to experience all the sweat, and heat and bugs for a few minutes. You need to pick a secluded spot behind trees, hide the bike, cover with branches, make pictures and mark the spot on your GPS maps.
09:49 ready to proceed South to the beginning of the trail.
10:56 – 171.7 miles – 22.5°C – Stop & Shop parking lot in North Adams, MA. It means I would need to cover 36.5 miles on the bike to return to the car in a few days. Signal here is good, so I can complete all outstanding work requests with my hot spot. Anything to buy? Only 3 packages of blueberries for the rice of 2 ($10). Face mask? – Yes. Required inside the store.
12:34 – start the hike from – perfect, perfect. No laptop and no urgent request for the next several days. Just woods. But to get there I need to walk on a busy route 2, cross Hoosic River over a pedestrian bypass, walk some more on Massachusetts Ave. and finally in 0.7 miles (12:49) enter the not obvious, but marked Appalachian Trail (AT). Now, we are crossing state forest boundary and there are 4.1 mile to VT border 7 miles to today’s destination – Seth Warner Shelter.
13:15 – 1.6 miles – first rest to lose layers of clothes, put on bug spray and sun screen. The trail goes up along the river branch. Forgot in the car trunk remaining blueberries that I just bought. Will they survive a few days in a hot trunk? Weather is perfect – only short and t-shirt are required. Everything is bright green. Birds are singing. I am sitting right on the ground leaning against a boulder. Spring is loud tumbling through the rocks. I am wearing Keen Newport Sandals – my standard gear starting May of last year.
13:40 -13:48 reached southern and then northern entrances to Sherman Brook campsite
14:17 – 3.1 miles – second stop near East Mountain (~2,000 ft). Sun is very bright now. In the backpack I am carrying 2 bananas, several oranges and one apple. The idea is to eat one or two fruits for every day of the trip.
14:50 – 1.3 remains to the border. 2.7 already covered today.
15:31 – 15:57 MA/VT border – only second AT state border under my belt. The other one was NH/ME border on July 2, 2017 at 13:30
First orange and first banana to go. Strong signal on the border – Received a long overdue call from NH Appalachian Trail people – all overnight facilities in HN are closed till July.
17:27 – reached appendix to Seth Warner shelter. Bugs. COVID-19 notifications. No one around. Nice! I am trying to do a semi-swim in a very shallow brook under attack from relentless bugs. But it is still very pleasant and refreshing.
19:23 – consumed vegan Patagonia Provisions Organic Spicy Red Bean Chili, hot tea is on the way. Very warm for May in the woods.
19:52 – another couple will be sleeping in a tent nearby. Very nice sunset into the forest.
20:30 – no cell signal. Tea with two rooibos sashes. Bugs got tired and disappeared. All the food in bear box. Hiking day total – 7.7 miles.
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