We woke up early this morning but everyone was slow getting packed up so we didn’t start hiking until almost 8:00. The weather was cool and we were in the clouds so it seemed very foggy.
The trail was more challenging today with steeper terrain, more rocks and some boggy sections that we had to cross on logs that trail maintainers had laid across the bogs. At one point I heard a ruckus up ahead and when I arrived on the scene I saw Derek (who is now going by ‘Sinatra’ instead of ‘Ghost’) knee-deep in mud. One of the logs that he used to cross the bog sank when he stepped on it. Everyone enjoyed the humor in the situation.
We saw quite a few other hikers today, many more than I expected. We saw four thru-hikers, eleven day-hikers and a section hiker named Short Notice who is with us at the Jay Peak Camp shelter tonight.
The scenic highlight for the day was Jay Peak where we had a clear view of the 360-degree panorama. Jay Peak is a ski resort and part of the trail is one of the ski runs. The peak itself is a barren and rocky area above the tree line. It was cool and windy on the peak so most of us put on our jackets until we descended back into the trees. From the top we could see that the leaves are already starting to turn. It will be beautiful here in a couple of weeks.
We finished hiking early this afternoon, cooked and ate a hot dinner and had a campfire for the second night in a row.
I am really enjoying the slower pace and the more relaxed feel of this trip, as compared to my AT hike last year. Both fast and slow types of hiking have their place and I have no strong preference either way. But it is a pleasure to have the time to enjoy the views, listen to the wind blow in the trees, notice the colors of the leaves that have already fallen in the trail, and sit beside a campfire.
Here are photos of Sinatra after he climbed out of the bog and Ella (no trail name yet) on the top of Jay Peak.