Long Trail – Day 14
June 27, 2016
Waitsfield, VT to Bamforth Ridge Shelter
Today was a hiking achievement: 16 miles over the toughest section of the Long Trail.
I forgot to mention that yesterday Chuck and I were about to wash our clothes as a sketchy laundromat in Waitsfield and an equally sketchy older woman came up to us and asked if we wanted to camp in the cemetary and party. We politely, but quickly declined. Past the woman, a middle aged man was putting sheets in the machine and asked if we were hikers. He said that we were more than welcome to stay at the Waitsfield Inn, which he owned. He would give us a discounted rate, with free breakfast, a ride to the Inn, and a ride to the trail in the morning. We took him up on his offer and all of us throughly enjoyed our stay. Almost as much as eating tacos at Mad Taco. In the morning he made orange french toast and sausages.
This morning we started Appalachian Gap at 9:15. The hike was tough out of the gap on stiff legs. I quickly loosened up and we started trucking. Magic Mike (formerly Sam), Chuck and I decided to stick together since there was a high risk of breaking an ankle. Birch Glen Shelter, Cowles Cove Shelter quickly went by. The real hike began at Burnt Rock Mt., a tough, open faced, bouldering hike. The views up top were wondrous. The three of us really had a great day hiking together.
We then quickly summited Mt. Ira Allen and Mt. Ethan Allen. Rain was possibly forecast for the afternoon, and we wanted to clear these rock climbs before that and make it to Montclair Geln Lodge. Rain would have made it impossible to summit Camel’s Hump.
We had been anticipating Camel’s Hump for days. It’s bulbous nose protruding from the forest floor. I prayed and prayed for no rain, since we wouldn’t be able to summit it. We kept checking the radar and the rain totally bypassed us. I was most thankful.
The hike up Camel was tough. The terrain changes substantially and the alpine zone overtakes the mountain. At the summit the wind was gusting at 40-50 mph. It was brutal just standing. We ducked behind a giant rock and watched the clouds waft by at a fast rate.
It was wonderful.
We quickly descended 3.7 miles to Bamforth Ridge Shelter. A wonderful, new shelter with two beautiful birch trees right in front of it.
As I write this the wind gusts above us, swaying the trees I the wind, and more importantly we are dry.
Total mileage is 16 miles.