Home Forums Outside Places 2020 July 24, FRI – from fog to haven

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    Udar Gromov

    Summary: hike from Greenwall Shelter to Minerva Hinchey Shelter, then to Clarendon Shelter, and finally find a gorgeous camping spot on Sargent Brook near Lower Cold River rd.

    First half of the night it was a heavy snoring in the shelter. Heavy! But second half was OK. The snoring burned itself down.

    06:00 – the whole shelter – all 4 inhabitants woke up almost at the same time. No breakfast for me. Both pants and socks are still wet, but it is not cold, so my thing will have an opportunity to dry out.
    07:03 – reset cell data counter on iPhone – all 2.8 GB of it. Start of a new billing cycle. Rain is gone and no more promised for this weekend. I will dry all my stuff later when the sun will come out.

    Hiking sector 1 – 07:44 – 09:09 = 1:25 2.87 mi (2.1 mph) – down to the road (08:34) and then sharply up to a dry stony outlook place

    07:44 – start the hike ahead of 2 guys with the dog. Fog and sun are fighting for dominance.
    07:51 – measure distance form shelter to the main trail. Two APP(s) estimates are ranging from 0.27 to 0.4 mi.
    8:11 – trail walks around a nice-size waterfall. You can see it from both sides.
    08:29 – crossing 2 roads in a quick succession – Sugar Hill Rd. and route 140. There is a big parking area tucked away about 300 yards from the initial trail crossing.
    09:09 – 2.87 mi – big almost 2-hour break on a stony Doomed Rock lookout. Hang things to dry, have a cold kasha breakfast.
    New discovery – it is very convenient to sit with you back leaning against heavy backpack. Nice, comfortable, simple, universal.

    Hiking sector 2 – 10:55 – 12:15 = 1:20 2.6 mi (2.2 mph) – over Bear Mtn – arrive to Minerva Hinchey Shelter

    11:50 notice a “no name” trail departing to the right. This is more typical in Vermont section of the AT. There are a lot of roads, a lot of high voltage lines, a lot of roads of various sizes.
    12:22 at the shelter, the North bound hiker gave me a folding saw with letters BUCK on it to shorten my walking stick. I have looked it up on the internet later – it is no longer available. But it is a wonderful saw – sharp, light, durable (Buck Knives – Folding Saw – $34)
    This shelter is just a few steps away from the trail, has some dirt road access. It is built very high above the ground – over 3 ft high. It has spacious roofed common area and picnic table outside. Water at the shelter is just a spring appearing as a puddle in the ground, but very clear and cold.

    Hiking sector 3 12:48 – 14:01 = 1:13 2.57 mi (2.2 mph) down to Clarendon Gorge (only at about 800 ft)

    13:34 – I have reached an opening with a view of Rutland Regional airport. There were 3 youngsters that spoke Russian. I would see them one more time down in the valley by the river.
    14:09 – 14:28 -swimming opportunity at wide Mill River. River here forms a deep interesting gorge, and people are flocking here for fun and sun.

    Hiking sector 4 14:34 – 15:38 = 1:03 1.43 mi (1.5 mph) sharp up away from the road and slight down to Clarendon Shelter

    From 14:50 to 15:12 – very tough and steep climb up away from the road onto another hill. From here another view at the Ruland Airport. On this site a Chinese family – mother and 2 kids sitting and watching goings on.

    15:32 – another shelter – Clarendon. Here there is a large open space with a fire ring in the middle. Fragrance smoke is rising from the ring. Shelter has bunks on the sides and table in the middle. This shelter is not very clean due to easy road access. This is a mid-point of my hike for this trip – about 15 miles. My calculation show that there are 16.2 mi left to go on this trip.

    Hiking sector 5 16:16 – 17:43 = 1:26 2.74 mi (1.9 mph) up to Lottery Rd. and then down to Keiffer Rd., Shrewsbury, VT 05738.

    16:40 – I am at the Beacon Hill with some weather center equipment and weather tower. This is 10 min away from 2000 Lottery Rd. in Shrewsbury, VT.
    17:39 – I have reached Keiffer Rd. Trail magic cooler is full of garbage.

    Hiking sectors 6 and 7 – 17:47 – 18:07 = 0:20 0.60 mi (2.0 mph) two last small hikes to a secret camp destination on the Sargent Brook and Upper Cold River Rd.

    17:54 – I am on Lower Cold River Rd. A tiny narrow path represents AT/LT here. One of the topo maps shows a short dead-end trail towards river. There is not any trail, but I follow the GPS lead strolling through tall grass and underbrush. It must end very shortly on the riverbank. And it does. Very little traces of human activity. Just a pristine sun-lit river hidden away from most humans.

    Total hike 10:23 – 12.88 mi – 2.0 mph

    18:27 – what a wonderful place I found. Hammock already hanged and I am enjoying the camping bliss.
    18:46 – I cool off in a brook and putting fresh night clothes on. I placed all my possession on a blue tarp. First 20 oz. of water already boiling on tiny alcohol stove. Today’s meal – Patagonia Provisions Organic Spicy Red Bean Chili.
    19:25 Very little bugs and mosquitoes. River is talking. Sun is glistening. Tea is brewing. World order is changing.
    19:37 Today sun rise at 05:35 and sun set at 20:22. Today completed 13 mi. My elevation profile was tough. I descended to 3 roads and had to climb back again. Passed 2 shelters. 13.2 mi remains to complete this section hike. There is a signal here – I even received a call from a fellow soccer player about Saturday game.
    20:01 – dinner time. I am sitting comfortably in the hammock. Adding olive oil to my chilly. Google incorrectly shows Gould Brook, but other maps name it Sargent Brook.
    20:08 – I saw a deer on the other side of the brook that came for a drink. When it saw or sense me, it started making loud puffing noises and ran away like a wind.
    21:01 it is getting dark. Here with me in a hammock are comb, ear plugs, flashlight and battery replacement, watches, napkins, glasses, neck buff, socks. The stars are coming out in hordes. What a place I found!

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