Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
We hit mile 100 once we reached the summit of Burnt Rock Mountain. The climb up and over wasn’t as bad as all of the NOBOs made it out to be. However, it’s one of the first big climbs they have, so it’s a bit more memorable coming from that direction. Just about all of our big climbs were behind us now. My knees were relieved!
When we stopped at Cowle’s Cove Shelter, we were happy to see Dark Knight pop out of nowhere. Her leg was bothering her so she was going to take a zero there. She told us a funny story about two older hiker ladies who were picking up rocks and carrying them in their packs. Not pebble-sized rocks might I add, but large, paperweight sized ones!
The trail led us to a road less traveled. This was gonna be a tricky hitch into Waitsfield! Eventually a lady named Megan would pick us up. She had had an interesting day. She found a dog wandering in the middle of the road and picked it up. The dog joined her for a meeting at her work before she tracked down the owner. Then she saw a few more strays on the side of the road… us!
She told us another story on the way to town about an acquaintance who had pulled over on the side of the road to pick up a hitchhiker. He hopped in her car and slowly shifted her out of the driver’s seat as they drove down the road. This was not a hitch, it was a car jacking! She had to hop out of the car, and then called the authorities before they caught the guy and got her car back. It was a funny story to tell to a trio of hitchhikers that you just picked up. She dropped us off at Melhuron’s Market. As we unloaded our bag from the car she told us, “They have the best slogan! ‘You can’t beat our meat!’”
All sexual innuendo aside, it happened to be very good meat indeed! We inhaled some roast beef subs after we resupplied.
While in the process of hitching back out, a guy with a canoe on the roof of his car pulled over to tell us that he had to run an errand, but he would return to take us back to the trail if we felt like waiting 15 minutes. He told us he might be back sooner. So Frisbee and I grabbed coffee, and Middle Brother bought a couple single beers, and we waited. After 25 minutes passed by, we realized Canoe Guy just ghosted us. Our hitchhiking dance continued.
An older guy who was a former hiker by the name of Headplant pulled into the gas station to take us where we needed to go. He was playing some Grateful Dead and talked to the guys about skiing as we cruised up the mountain. We had planned to hike passed it to cover more ground, but Headplant highly recommended we stay the night at Stark’s Nest Warming Hut. It was known to be a scenic stop, so we decided, what the hell, why not?
We took a long break at Mad River Glen ski lift. There was no rush, we were only going a little bit further.
When we reached Stark’s Nest Warming Hut, there was another hiker already there named Smokebeard. He was hiking in the other direction, and had hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
He was good company, but was a little bummed out. He was on a tight schedule, something he had never worried about during previous hikes. He felt rushed and didn’t like the fact that he couldn’t stop when he wanted to stop, but was instead expected to cover the needed mileage to meet his deadline. With family back at home, he told us this would be his last long distance hike.
We all took in the sunset before returning to the hut to curl up in our sleeping bags.
10 miles (16.1 km)