Long Trail – Day 11
June 24, 2016
David Logan Shelter to Skyline Lodge
I forgot to mention that yesterday and today were two important milestones for the Long Trail hiker. Firstly, just past VT Route 4/Rutland, the trail bifurcated. The AT heads northeast to Katahdin in Maine and the LT heads north to Quebec. Secondly, 6 miles past the shelter is the halfway point to Journey’s End. So much of the time you feel dwarfed by the AT hikers when you’re with them. You may have hiked 100 miles, but they have hiked 1,700 miles. Once the trail splits it’s just us LT hikers. There’s a slowly growing sense of camaraderie amongst those on the trail now.
I had the best nights sleep in quite some time. It was very cool and David Logan Shelter is deep in the woods, shielding us from the morning sun. I started at 7:30 and hiked alone the first 6 miles to Brandon Gap.
The hike up Mt. Horrid certainly lived up to its name. The cliffs were closed due to nesting falcons, but several tiny views came through. Mt Horrid is the start of Joseph Battell Wilderness. I leapfrogged with Chuck and Sam most of the day. They are great guys. For some reason we all started the LT the same day, but only now are seeing each other. Sam is from Harrisburg, PA and is a ski instructor in Vale, CO. Chuck is an artist and welder from the Hudson Valley in NY.
Mt. Horrid, Cape Lookoff Mtn. and Gillespie Peak were tough climbs, as was Worth Mountain. 8.9 miles past Brandon Gap is a series of ski lifts at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. I wondered why the white blazes were 7 feet off the ground on the trees.
My Achilles is much better today, and the Motrin is really helping.
We crossed Middlebury Gap and entered the Breadloaf Wilderness. I also saw the first signs of moose. There were giant hoof prints as well as a plethora of giant pellets/scat. I’ve never seen a moose before, but there must be a lot out here. The last two miles were tough, and Sam and I decided to stride it out together. It was cool to be spurring each other on. I’m really glad we did, because Skyline Lodge is a wonderful, spacious shelter (small house, really) overlooking a pond and spruce fir trees. It’s gorgeous. And the best part is that only the three of us are here.
Total mileage is 22.2 miles.