Day 117 – Monday, July 4: Stealth Camp (City Stream) to Stealth Camp, 19.4 miles, 1,630.0 total AT miles.

We woke late – making camp and cooking dinner definitely took its toll. We started hiking north at 9:00am. We both lamented our late start – we’re still getting our miles in but hate making camp so late. It’s become a theme, apparently.

We had a difficult 1,500 foot ascent to start the day and took our time – after that, we’d essentially be ridge walking the entire day. Near Porcupine Ridge, the trail leveled off, and Greyhound and I really started making some serious time.

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After hiking hard for nearly three hours, we stopped and had a quick lunch on this huge boulder before pressing on. We eventually reached the fire tower atop Glastenbury Mountain, a full 11 miles away from where we started – we wanted to get there quickly to make up for lost time. After putting our heads down, we finally made it to the fire tower at 1:30pm – we hungrily ate at the base.

I’ve got a thing about heights – a debilitating thing. I’d refused to climb to the top of fire towers the entire hike. Leave it to Greyhound to convince me to climb up. And boy was it worth it! The views were amazing – we were surrounded on all sides by a dense pine forest. Welcome to the Green Mountains!

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We resumed hiked north at 2:00pm. Greyhound noticed we seemed to be in the middle of two AT bubbles – we hadn’t been running into many AT thru-hikers at all. Lately, we’d been crossing paths with folks attempting to hike the Vermont Long Trail. It’s been kind of fun watching these hikers start out on their own epic journeys – they’re just as much rookies as I was when I started the AT. We met another teenager attempting the VLT by himself as well as a couple of college-aged women.

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After leaving Glastenbury, we made great time. We stopped and had a snack at 5:00pm – we still hadn’t hiked anywhere close to 20 miles. As we ate, we decided to tent at the next available campsite past Story Spring Shelter. I made a chipmunk friend.

At 7:00pm we gathered water and started looking for a place to camp. Greyhound took the lead – I was in a crummy mood and she found a campsite quickly. We made camp in record time – given the circumstances, we actually ended up in a pretty decent spot.

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As I was cooking dinner, I accidentally kicked a pot of boiling water (cooking the semi-frozen sausages) over and onto my foot. Despite the fact that I still had on my trail runners, a wool sock and a sock liner, the scalding hot water burned my flesh. I ripped my shoe and socks off, but it wasn’t quick enough. In fifteen minutes, an angry blister had already formed. It was a pretty serious burn. I decided to let it air out and went to sleep after cleaning up from dinner.

Happy 4th of July! We didn’t get any fireworks. Black Santa is catching up.

Author: Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...

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