It’s not just your normal ‘work in the garden and get muddy kind of mud’. This is thick, sticky, slurping mud that will suck your shoes right off your feet. Vermont definitely deserves its nickname, ‘Vermud’.
Last night a big rainstorm rolled in just as I was finishing dinner at Desperados so I didn’t get to tour the scenic part of Williamstown. Maybe I’ll have a chance to go back there someday and spend more time.
This morning I left HoJo’s at 5:30 and was on the trail by 6:00, which is exactly when the rain started. Fortunately the temperature was very pleasant and it was much cooler than yesterday. When it was raining the mosquitoes weren’t so bad but when the rain stopped the mosquitoes came out. I’ll take the rain over mosquitoes any day!
And then there’s the mud…I would say that at least 50% of the trail was a mud pit with rocks and sticks thrown in by previous hikers to try to provide a place to step. It was really slow going and at times I just had to laugh and keep on truckin’.
I crossed from Massachusetts into Vermont about two hours into the hike. In southern Vermont the AT is the same as The Long Trail, which runs from Vermont’s border with Canada to the border with Massachusetts. They are the same trail for a little over a hundred miles and then the AT turn east towards New Hampshire and The Long Trail goes north to the Canadian border.
The Long Trail is a well known trail and I will probably see more hikers than usual.
Tonight there is a good crowd at the Melville Nauheim Shelter with a mix of AT thru-hikers, section hikers, and Long Trail hikers. I’m tenting at the shelter and enjoying the coziness of my tent, Big Agnes, rather than facing the mosquitoes and noise in the shelter. (Note: ‘Big Agnes’ is the brand name of my tent so that’s the nickname I’ve given it.)
Tonight for dinner I cooked a meal that I got from the hiker box at The Shamrock Inn in Dalton two days ago. It’s a penne pasta backpacker meal made by a company called Outdoor Herbivore in Charlotte, NC. It’s really good!
I didn’t take any pictures during the day because of the rain but I did snap a couple of shots of the threatening sky as I left HOJO’S (see below).
Tomorrow I have a relatively easy eighteen mile day to the Story Spring Shelter. Depending on how the weather is I may go further and find a good camping spot a few miles past the shelter. On Wednesday I plan to stay at the Green Mountain Hostel near the town of Manchester Center. It sounds like a nice place and I’m looking forward to staying there.