Day 123 – Sunday, July 10: Stealth Camp (Killington, VT) to Wintturi Shelter, 16.0 miles, 1,720.7 total AT miles.

It got cold last night and stayed wet. I woke up and didn’t feel like moving – even with the cover provided by the porch, plenty of rain was falling through the slats. I sat in my sleeping bag and ate snacks, trying to get warm.

I finally got going at 8:00am, slowly packing up. We left our makeshift camp at 9:30. We were hiking slowly – it was cold and wet and the trail was a mess. At 11:00, we stopped at Thundering Falls for a quick break. The weather was starting to improve – and all the rain last night made for a pretty impressive display.


We left the falls and ascended Quimby Mountain, our only real climb of the day. The forest was green and damp, but the weather was cool. After a slow start, it was quickly becoming a great day for hiking. We put our heads down and plowed forward. We assumed Black Santa was behind us – we just didn’t know how far.


But Greyhound and I were making great time. After taking virtually no breaks all day, we stopped at The Lookout, a cabin with an observation deck on the roof. It was 5:30pm and we’d covered 14 miles on the day – not bad for such a late start.

The sun was intermittently shining through the clouds. I dropped my pack in front of cabin and immediately pulled my tent out to attempt to let it dry. It seems I’ve been doing this a lot lately. I spread my wet socks across warm stones and hung my jacket in a tree. The forecast said that this brief sunny spell wouldn’t last long.


We decided to eat dinner there – we both cooked outside chatting with a section hiker on the front porch. I mixed a can of buffalo chicken into my pot full of queso Rice Side (my favorite combo so far). I suggested we take our meals up to the observation deck and eat dinner up there. The views were awesome – I could definitely see storms on the horizon.

We hurriedly ate and packed up – the tent wasn’t in bad shape at all. As we were leaving The Lookout, the rain threatened to start up again. But the trail was flatter than it’s been in a while – we started hustling to get to the Wintturi Shelter about three miles away. As soon as we see the sign for the side trail, the skies opened up. We ran down to the shelter and threw our packs inside. I quickly looked around – aside from another hiker already in their tent, we had the shelter to ourselves. Or at least until Black Santa and the group from the hostel shows up.

We found a clothesline and hung up our wet clothes – finally got a chance to put my clothespins to use. We waited around until dark before assuming no one else was going to make it down to the shelter. I hung up my half-dried tent and reorganized my backpack. The last four days of heavy rains have left everything permanently damp – even my external battery feels a little wet.

After eating a good pile of snacks, I finished organizing my backpack and began updating my AT Guide with notes from the past few days. I went to bed tired and kind of ready to get to Hanover, NH.

* * *

We should be arriving in Hanover on Tuesday morning. And, for the first time in a long time

Note: I’m running out of dry bandages for this burn. It still hasn’t completely scabbed over – at least it’s clean and not infected.

Day 122 – Saturday, July 9: Governor Clement Shelter to Stealth Camp (Killington, VT), 14.5 miles, 1,704.7 total AT miles.

It barely rained last night. What a relief! I woke early and started packing up. Black Santa was already up and ready to go. He wanted to get to Killington, VT 15 miles away and stay at the Yellow Deli, a religious commune-type hostel. I wasn’t too keen on the idea. But I needed a plan – we were definitely going to start getting rain soon.

Black Santa sped off – I’d more than likely see him tomorrow. Greyhound decided to save the money and just camp near town. We’d be staying in Hanover, NH in a few days anyway.


We left the shelter at 8:00 and started climbing up to Killington Peak. We arrived at 11:00 and decided to have lunch in the Cooper Lodge Shelter. It was really run down and full of litter. As we quickly ate snacks, we watched the weather outside deteriorate. It started raining and got a little chilly – I put on my jacket and we took off into the storm.

We paused at Pico Camp at 12:30pm having hiked seven miles on the day. Here the AT deviates from the Vermont Long Trail – I’m suspecting we’ll see a lot fewer hikers moving forward. I haven’t really mentioned it yet, but there have been a lot of hikers out here attempting the VT LT.


We left Pico Camp and immediately began descending towards US 4 – and what do you know, we stumble across a cooler full of trail magic. We share some watermelon, chocolate and a Coke before pressing on.


By 4:00pm we entered Gifford Woods State Park and made the quick hike over to the outfitter in town. Greyhound needed a new fuel canister. After she made her purchase, we walked over to the market. I was already running low on snacks and was getting pretty hungry for dinner – Hanover, NH is still three days away. I ended up buying enough snacks to get me there, plus a sandwich for dinner.


As we’re hanging out in front of the market, trying to decide where to camp, the rain starts up again. I checked the AT Guide for tenting options and came up short – we’d have to hike out of town in order to find a place to camp. I considered splitting a room in town with Greyhound, but restrained myself from spending the money. Plus, the taxi I called never showed up. We set off into the woods, determined to find a place to camp before the rain really started coming down.

As we’re making our way back past the outfitter, I spied a building on the edge of the property. Greyhound and I hiked over and found a large porch hidden on the back side facing away from the road. There was plenty of room to set up tents and the porch above provided good cover from the falling rain. We stayed up until dark. I went to bed listening to the falling rain.