Long Trail – Day 1
June 14, 2016
Mass. 2 to Congdon Shelter
They say that the first step of any journey is the hardest. That adage rang so true this morning when Emily dropped me off at the A.T. on Mass. Hwy. 2. It was difficult to kiss Ramona, Alice and Em one last time before turning and heading across the bridge. I literally had to force myself keep walking.
The trail runs for over 4 miles on the AT in Massachusetts before reaching the Vermont border. It was tough going, mainly uphill, and particularly difficult with 7 days worth of food. I didn’t see many people on the trail today. Walking upon a guy bathing in a creek, a mother and daughter day hiking.
As soon as I hit Vermont the trail turned to mud. Nothing but mud that can cover your shoe. I’d always heard that Vermont or Vermud is notorious for it, but hearing and seeing are two different things. You can escape the mud by walking around or jumping on stones. I managed to miss the mud until 2 or 3 miles from Congdon. I had completely zoned out and was heading down the trail, next thing I knew my shoe was engulfed in mud. Not normal mud, but the wettest, stickiest mud ever. I was so warm at that point that it didn’t feel that bad.
Just before Congdon is Sucker Pond, an amazing, tranquil area. I stood for a while looking at the trees and water, the peaceful solitude of nature.
Given the few people I saw, I thought that I would have the shelter to myself. Two people were camped in tents as I came up, and soon 5 others joined. Two friends from Quebec, a former armed services member, an Israeli farmer, a man from Milwaukee. So many great stories, so many adventures to tell, the lives of complete strangers converging at a shelter in the woods. Discussing politics, careers, hearing their stories of other hikers. This was a good night.
Total approach mileage is 3.8 miles.
Total mileage is 10 miles.