The Long Trail: Part 14

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

I met with everyone downstairs in the Yellow Deli for the free hiker breakfast. Frisbee and I socialized with the 12 tribes members and the other hikers who joined us over granola.

We picked the brains of the so-called cult members. I don’t agree with a lot of their views from what I gathered, but I was appreciative of their hospitality, even if it was intended to be a recruitment attempt. When I returned to my room, I noticed that a running event was underway below and they had rolled out sod on the street.

Dude’s car got blocked in.

After a trip to Walmart to get a can of Spaghetti O’s, it was time to hitch back out to hike up and over Mount Killington.

After catching a hitch back to the trail, I was feeling very weak. I was moving slower than normal up the mountain, so I was relieved when I reached the top and it flattened out for a while. I met the others at Cooper Lodge where we took a short break. We all agreed to skip the short, but incredibly steep climb to the summit of Mount Killington. It’s only about three-tenths of a mile, but we had been there, done that, and didn’t find it worth re-visiting.

We ran into some other hikers on the way back down, some who were hiking the Long Trail, others who were hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT).

During the first few days of our hike, I noticed a dog tag labeled, “Charles” laying on a rock in the middle of the trail. Frisbee had been carrying it ever since with hopes of returning it to its owner. We’d finally get that opportunity when we met Charles, his owner, and the two other Long Trail hikers that were tagging along with them. After some small talk, they hiked on as we took a short break at Governor Clement Shelter. We only had 7 more miles to go on the day before we hitched back to Rutland.

The majority of the hike was mellow, but we all suffered from some nasty knee pain during the steep descents. After passing the hikers we just met, and some more gnarly descents, we were relieved when we found ourselves back at the road.

I thought it would be a challenge to get back to town from this location, but thanks to the day-hiker parking lot across the street, we got a ride back in no time.

We met two AT section hikers there who were visiting from their home in North Carolina. They had completed most of the AT, but had a few stretches in Vermont and in the south before it was official. Middle Brother rode with one of the guys, and Frisbee and I rode with the other. We had some fun conversations about the AT and traveling. These two guys were older, did not give off the appearance of being athletic by any means, but they had accomplished many miles on various trails and have seen several parts of the world. Middle Brother had an equally enjoyable ride back.

We got dropped off at Wendy’s to take advantage of their four-for-four meal deal. It included a four-piece chicken nugget, a drink or frosty, a small fry, and the choice of four different junior sandwiches. Each of us ended up purchasing two rounds. Hiker hunger should never be ignored!

Before returning to the hostel, we walked to ‘Ruff Life Coffee’ for some caffeine. After all the Maté tea I’d been drinking at the hostel, I probably should’ve passed. I was wired! I’d have another eventful night as I looked out of my window. There were loud outdated tunes blasting from the bar, drunken arguments, and police involvement involving the same girl on two different occasions.

She had a loud argument with a friend the first time around. The two of them told the cop that they were “just messing around” and weren’t really arguing. She was then told by the manager or owner of the bar, that she was banned from the premises for throwing threats at staff and patrons. She ‘ugly cried’ to her friend, telling him how mad she was.

Later that night, I’d wake from my short snooze to police lights. The girl was being forced into a police car as she yelled at a skinny girl with a mohawk that was holding her head a several yards away. From what I gathered, the girl with the mohawk worked at the bar and was attacked by the culprit. Given the events that unfolded, I didn’t catch a wink of solid sleep all night.


17.8 miles (28.6 km)

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