Day 99: Wilbur Clearing to Harmon Hill

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Vermont
Monday, June 21, 2010

Big day today with lots of happenings so I hope that you will stick with me! I'm camped out with a bunch of high school cross country skiers, and it's been pretty funny listening to them chat about high school stuff. That couldn't be more distant from the trail!

Woke up nice and early to the solstice sunshine! Happy solstice day everyone! It is tradition to hike naked on solstice day, but due to a ton of boy scouts and other people out on the trail, plus the lack of any peer pressure kept my clothes on. Oh well :)

The first miles are a steep downhill into North Adams/ Williamstown, MA. I am there nice and early and walk 0.4 to the grocery store. I resupply and then catch the bus into Williamstown to retrieve a maildrop. Williamstown is home to Williams College, a prestigious small college. Actually I was reminded of Kalamazoo College by the old buildings and beautiful surroundings. Unfortunately the school is set on a main hwy, so big semis are always driving by. Kalamazoo College: +1

My maildrop is there, new map set to get me up to about Maine, and some homemade brownies from my mom. What a joy that is!! I think they survived for 6 hours. No I didn't share.
It took a total of 3 hours to resupply and get my maildrop due to waiting for the bus and walking and everything, so I end up climbing the big mtn in the midday heat. At least there was a breeze.

At about midday I pass another big milestone: Vermont! For those keeping score, that is the 12th state. Only a couple left! The border is also the southern end of the Long Trail. It runs from the MA border to Canada. It was actually one of the inspirations for the AT, and uses the same white blaze system. This means I'll have to be especially cautious when the two white blazed trails divert: one to Maine and one to Canada!
Passed a few south bounders today but they are still just long trail or section hikers, no true AT south bounders yet. It will be very exciting when I meet some of them!
Vermont is known as "Vermud" because of all the muddy trail sections. It is truly a pain for hiking, but I have gotten pretty good at puddle hopping. It also hasn't rained in a while, so it could be worse! I took one really nasty spill slipped on the side of a rock and then slammed into the mud, knee landing right on a rock. Fortunately everything checked out ok, except my pants which now have a big hole in the crotch. I prolly am too cheap to replace them though... Nobody out here cares anyway.

Managed to hike 20 mi despite the midday delays and arrived at this camping spot to find a ton of high schoolers celebrating their friends' birthday. I would have moved on but they offered me food, and if you've been reading along you know it's an easy way to win my friendship :)
They actually turn out to be a really nice group of young people, asking good questions and chatting. They are outdoorsy so they have good experience and also help maintain this portion of the trail. Their coach, Bruce, is a very sociable guy and has done a lot of hiking in the area too. I talk to him for a good hour sitting around for the sunset. So far Vermont has been a pleasure. Well see if I still feel the same in another 150 miles :)

Alright well I think that's about it. Great sunset and the moon is out. Should be chilly up here on the summit but no bugs.  Hopefully everyone is doing well, it's weird to not see any comments. I hope that I can get the website updated manually in the next couple of days. Technology!
Peace and happy summer!
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