August 4th 2018
Route 4 / Rutland – Winturri Shelter (mile 1721.8)
20 miles
Total miles: 1743.6


I didn’t sleep great. It’s that being-in-town-in-a-bunk-room thing. I ended up playing with my phone for a while and eventually falling asleep. I woke up at 6am and tried to go back to sleep as breakfast wasn’t until 7:30am, but of course I couldn’t. 

The Yellow Deli people still provide breakfast even on their sabbath day and they are still doing all the chores at the hostel. There were 48 hikers for breakfast! I think that included 4 southbounders and the rest were northbounders. Where had they all come from?! Some of them had just arrived and were taking zeros, some zeroed yesterday, some had been there for a few days! 

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I didn’t eat much for breakfast. I still felt full and my stomach wasn’t feeling that wonderful. We had made plans to get the 8:15am bus out of town and back to the trailhead but as it was a Saturday the bus runs a reduced service so the first bus wasn’t until 10:15am. We were going to try and hitch but somehow we managed to just faff about, well the others were doing a lot of faffing and I was doing a lot of waiting. I even folded some more laundry while I waited. 

Eventually the time came to get the bus and there must have been about 20 hikers there. Peaches had run off to get a doughnut and nearly missed the bus leaving. I sat next to a guy called Big Bunny who said he followed me on Instagram and he could reel off my hiking cv which was a little strange but he seemed like a nice guy and we chatted trails for the journey. 

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Lots of people were slackpacking today and some were staying on the bus to get back to Mt Killington, doing the downhill and then staying at the hostel again. Some were going south, so we all went in our different directions. 

We stepped back on the trail at 10:40am and we had 20 miles to do. Blurgh. I was glad for the day off and I felt like I had an experience, not just wasted my day away for the sake of it, but getting back into it after a day off is tough. My knees were more sore than they have been for a long time and the downhills were not welcomed by me today like they usually are. 

We hiked together for a bit and I hiked with Big Bunny’s friend Sherpa for a bit. These two started the trail in February and we have been meeting lots of people who started in February/ March time. We passed the point where the Long Trail and the AT split and the LT continues north to Canada and we break off and head over to New Hampshire. 

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Eventually they all went ahead of me when we came to a significant uphill. I had to keep stopping today to wee. Normally I will wee a couple of times a day on the trail, but today I was weeing every half an hour. And I know from past experience when I wee excessively then I start to feel unwell, so I was just trying to be careful and not over heat. 

It was warm and humid today and I had sweat pouring out of my face and rolling down my neck. The trail was pretty muddy and watery from all the rain recently, it rained a lot yesterday afternoon. I leapfrogged a little bit with a guy called Helpdesk and eventually he too left me behind on the uphill! I felt slow on the downhill too because of my knees and the slippy trail. All the trail did today was go up and down. We would climb up and then go right back down what we just came up. 

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After 10 miles there was a shelter but it was 200 yards off the trail and it was 200 extra yards I wasn’t prepared to walk so I sat at the junction and got some food out. I’ve definitely packed too much food for 2 days. Last time I was hungry so this time I got 2 pots of hummus which may have been a bit over the top! I ate some hummus and a roll and when I saw Helpdesk I asked if there was anyone else at the shelter but it was just him. He carried on and a few moments later I hear Peaches shouting my name. They must be at the water source. I shouted back that I was eating but they can’t have heard me because they all shouted collectively. Then peaches came up to find me. I packed up and joined them by the water. 3pm still 10 miles to go. 

I didn’t start hiking again until 3:20pm and it was more up and more down. I was happy hiking along by myself and I listened to some podcasts. We had to cross a creek on a log, Peaches went first and the log rolled and she got wet feet. She sacrificed herself and stood in the water and steadied the log while we all got across. Someone had left a handy ladder on the trail for a tricky section. 

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There really isn’t much else to say about the next 10 miles of trail. There were absolutely no views and all the forest looked much the same. With 6 miles still to go it started to thunder very loudly and one of the rumbles went on for about a minute. We got rain but thankfully it wasn’t heavy and it seemed that we were on the edge of whatever it was over us. Now my feet were wet I could stop trying to avoid walking in the mud and just plough on through. 

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buckets of trash magic

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With about 1.5 miles left I had to deal with the hostages. They were knocking on the door and making demands to be released. I tried to reason with them. Negotiate a deal. Just wait for half an hour and they could be released discretely. The didn’t want to listen. They wanted out and they wanted out IMMEDIATELY. They were bashing the door down so I had to run through the forest and perform an emergency evacuation. 

At least the rain had stopped. I ended up rolling into the shelter at 7:40pm. 20 minutes over my 10 mile pace but still there before it got dark. We are in the shelter tonight so we don’t have to deal with wet tents. There are a few other people in tents and hammocks but we are the only people in the shelter. 

I ate some more bread and hummus for dinner and tried to lie down as quickly as possible. It’s a little cooler than it has been but still not cold. Its 9:30pm. Not bad. Here’s hoping that Aleve PM kicks in. 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 88

 

 


 

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