2020-08-19 at 15:34 #7920Udar GromovKeymaster
Summary: drive from Boston to VT to hide the bike. Drive 32 miles to the beginning of the trail. Hike from Big Branch parking lot to Little Rock Pond and then to Greenwall Shelter under a strong powerful rain for last 50 minutes of the hike
04:24 – wake up in Boston without an alarm clock. Start working to complete last minute requests. Update COVID-19 data file for that day.
05:25 – it is more morning light outside. I am still working
06:02 – departing from Boston. I have enough gas for 256 miles and my trip today will be close to 200 miles.
08:18 – refueling in Quechee, VT 89 @ $2.54
09:02 – 167.2 miles – 20.5°C – arrived at Catamount Trail parking lot near Killington Peak. Mosquitoes, bite me! Hide bike deep in the forest and make a GPS waypoint to help locate the bike upon return.
I am loading an apple, an orange and coconut water in my bike bag to replenish me when I will emerge from the forest after 3 nights.
09:39 – hide my green bike, saddle and bike bag hide separately.
09:48 – depart to the starting point of the hike
10:32 – 197.9 – 21°C – arrive to Big Branch parking lot in Mt. Tabor, VT. I already been here on July 2 and 5 – three weeks ago. Last minute preparations include loading sunglasses, 4 green apples and home food container in fully prepared backpack. Apples are excellent for short 2-4-night hiking trips. They are hard, keep their shape, and do not require a separate container.
I am now finishing my kasha that Lira prepared late last night.
10:58 – As promised, I delivered half a day of work. Now, I found a spot with a weak signal and sent last email to work – goodbye you till Monday! Even received one reply – “Enjoy!”
So far it is cloudy, and rain is promised from 2 to 10 PM. After that – the entire trip will be dry and warm. Excellent!
11:14 – start (or continue after 3 weeks delay) the hike northbound on AT/LT. Somewhere here I was adjusting Date/Time stamp on my camera and accidentally set year to 2019.
12:00 – reached gorgeous Little Rock Pond. So far, I met only 3 hiking couples. All were very happy to hear phrase “We are survivors!” To continue, I choose to go around the Pond and to reach banks less traveled. It will add only 0.2 mi to the hike.
12:32 – after taking a swim in the pond. Water is perfectly refreshing. It is shallow to enter, but after 10-20 yard the pond is perfectly swimmable and grandiose. Started to discover that I need to mend back pockets in my pants. And this mending list will grow throughout the trip: kitchen mesh bag, clothes bag. And always the question: replace on repair?
Surrounding are great: birds are signaling, creatures sliding on water surface. Small fishes are circulating. Forest is reflecting. All is good.
12:56 – I am sitting on a high stone perch above the pond. I am slowly making my progress around the pond. Sun is aggressively trying to go through despite thick clouds. There is not signal to refresh my hourly rain forecast. I can see there are people on the other side on the pond coming and going. There is no one on my side of the pond.
13:46 rain is approaching, but still I have no intention to hurry to shelter. Take your time – you are on vacation with a 30 lb. bag on your back. Crossing a bridge that is probably part of a snowmobile trail.
14:02 – protect backpack from impending rain – put on rain cover. Rain is somewhere close, but for now sun is out.
14:46 – It appears that I have reached some local peak, and trail will begin to slope down now/
15:04 – this area called White Rocks. They are not quite white, but there are numerous fractions of rocks scattered around everywhere, prompting hikers to build endless balancing stone pyramids.
15:13 rain started and quickly developed into a big deal.
15:21 – had to cover myself with yellow poncho
15:38 – White Rock cliff trail outlook – picture taken in the rain and the lens is covered with water drops
15:58 – shelter is near – sigs show only 0.2 on a side trail.
16:06 – I am at the shelter. There is one more guy here drying up. It turns out I made his closeup picture when I was taking photos of the other side on the pond around noon today
16:41 – put on all dry clothes and spread my stuff. Nice. Warm. Comfortable.
16:55 – when trying to charge iPhone, I saw a message “Liquid detected in Lightning Connector”. Not a big deal. Wipe the connector, and let it dry for a few minutes.
Water source here is shallow, but very clean. Apparently, water is coming from underground. Fist use of my ne water scoop to collect water in a 3-liter bladder.
17:00 – 2 more guys with a dog arrived and start spreading their stuff in the middle of the shelter. The new wave of rain started immediately after. I was caught in privy and had to improvise a poncho from a large plastic bag to return to shelter.
18:50 – there is a cell signal here. I need to do my French to keep 240 days streak.
19:24 – my food today will be a home-cooked meal from yesterday. I only need alcohol stove for my tea. Rain has stopped.
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