Long Trail – Day 16
June 29, 2016
Buchanan Shelter to Butler Lodge
It rained nearly all night and the sound against the tin roof was so relaxing. I slept really well and woke up refreshed. At 8:00 I was on the trail. For nearly 4 miles you hike up 1,400 feet to Bolton Mountain. The fog wore heavy upon the mountain, a Tolkien-like setting with the ferns, wet rocks and clouds. The hike down from Bolton to Taylor Lodge was pure slickness. The rain made the roots and rock and mud like ice. I may have travelled at .5 miles per hour. Literally each step was characterized by stopping, looking and planning. I found out later that a lot of people fell quite a bit down that portion. From Taylor the trail is substantially easier, but still slick. After I got some water it was 12:45. The latest weather report said a thunderstorm was going to blow through at 3:00. I thought I had enough time to beat the storm, but with 1.5 left, the thunder started. I ended up really going fast. Just minutes after I reached Butler Lodge the lightening and rain started.
In the shelter were Magic Mike and The Two Jews. I looked around and asked where Radar was. No one knew. I then texted him to see if he made the push over Mt. Mansfield.
Mansfield is the highest point in Vermont. That alone is intimidating in a thunderstorm, but it is also exposed. Once you start to make a push, it takes 3-4 hours to travel only several miles. I texted him and got a text back. He made the push, got caught in the storm and was weathering it under the door to the visitor’s center.
At Butler we all talked and decided it would be best to wait out the wet rocks and make a push tomorrow.
Plus the view and sunset were stellar. To the west we can see Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. To the north we can see the huge outline of Mansfield and our intimidating hike.
Total mileage is 10.9 miles.