Thursday, September 12th, 2019
We only had three miles to get to the road to Johnson. It looked like we were finally going to have some sunny weather! We walked down the street to the Johnson Hardware store which we heard great things about. Sweet store, but there was nothing we needed there. All I had on my mind was coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
Perhaps the same went for all the people who passed by us while we tried to hitch. We got a lot of grumpy glares as we danced for 20 minutes, but we eventually got a hitch to the Sterling Market.
First thing first, breakfast sandwiches and coffee! We walked down to the gas station afterwards for more coffee and to charge our electronics as we waited for the town to wake up with us. When the shops began opening for the day, we did some browsing then resupplied.
It was time to hitch out. We walked across the street from the market to hitch in the proper direction. Before we could even stick out our thumbs, the homeowner mowing his yard next to us stopped to ask us if we wanted a ride back to the trail. Of course, we took him up on his offer.
When we got dropped off, we walked along a rail trail which turned into a gravel road through a residential neighborhood. Then it switch to a steep logging road and back into a trail. It was a brutal climb to the summit of Whiteface Mountain.
I felt like a ninja doing the necessary acrobatics and rock climbing down. My knees felt like they might blow out!
When we got to Whiteface Shelter, we saw our old section hiker friends inside. We talked for a bit and one of them shared their dark chocolate sea salt bar with us. We had heard about a warming hut that may or may not be open in a few miles on Madonna Peak, and decided to go for it. We had about two hours of daylight left.
We started hoofing it going through the usual climbs and obstacles northern Vermont offers, only stopping briefly at Hagerman Overlook. We were in such a rush that as I was hauling ass, I slipped on a root and found myself kicked back in my own little root thrown.
The sun began to set as we were shifted over to a super steep ski trail which led us to the ski patrol cabin. We missed the sunset, but the views were astounding!
The warming hut was unlocked, and although it was under renovation, we managed to find plenty of room to post up. We had some prime real estate for the night. We made the right decision.
13 miles (20.9 km)
Jump Ahead to The Long Trail: Part 6
Jump Back to The Long Trail: Part 4
Start from The Beginning
3 thoughts on “The Long Trail: Part 5”
Great to see you made it to the Long Trail! After I hiked the A.T. in 1985 I was captivated by that trail so much I hiked it twice; once each way. I felt it packed all the adventure and challenge into 265+ miles that the A.T. did. Enjoy!
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I agree! If a person completed the Long Trail to prepare for the AT, I have no doubt that they have what it takes! Northern Vermont is equally as challenging, if not more than the Whites in my opinion! I loved it! Which way did you prefer to hike the Long Trail, north or south?
Sorry for my late reply. I think hiking south from Journey’s End was more interesting. Sort of doing things in a paradox-like way, “going against the grain” and such. A bit more difficult also, because Mansfield and the relevant summits came earlier than if I’d hiked from the southern end. Either way, though, I really loved it!
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