Thursday–October 21, 2021
Location–Goddard Shelter (569.1) to VT-9 (579.2), then to Best Western, Bennington
Goddard Shelter is quite nice, vary spacious. Privy a minute’s walk. Same to the piped spring in the opposite direction.
The trail down the other side of Glastenbury is considerably more friendly to my pitiful mud-soaked feet, and I’m able to move along, making better time. Most of this day is spent in the Glastenbury Wilderness. The hardwood forest, quite captivating in fall, although I must stop if I’m to look and take it in. At Porcupine Lookout we stop for lunch. Slim Jim cranks up his stove and prepares hot coffee. A bit of climbing today; the coffee gets me through it.
We’ve a sudden and steep final descent to VT-9. Barry has climbed up to greet us and we pick our way down through the boulder field together.
Evening is another night spent in Bennington. Supper–pizza right across the street at Pizza Hut. Ten more miles behind me. Getting there folks, I’m getting there…
In autumn, the forest undresses
and I cannot look away.
(Gloria D. Gonsalves)
Wednesday–October 20, 2021
Location–USFS-71 (558.6) to Goddard Shelter (569.1)
Although only 10+ miles, today is shaping to be long and difficult. So, we’re up and over for the breakfast-included (with the room deal) at six. A long drive to the trailhead, but Barry has us (Kitchen Sink, Slim Jim, and me) back on trail by eight-thirty.
Ahead of us we’ve got 2,800 feet of ascent and 1,600 feet of descent to deal with, all of it through rocks, boulders, roots, and the Vermont mud. Most of the climbing involves getting up and over Glastenbury Mountain, which stands at 3,750 feet. It’s a struggle, going on five by the time I finish the climb. There’s an old fire tower on the summit and I take that climb. Delightful evening views–well worth the extra effort.
Goddard Shelter is a short distance down the other side of the mountain–a blessing, as I’m completely wore down from this day. Slim Jim prepares a nourishing hot supper for me. On my pad, under my quilt, in a very short while the rain comes, rattling the tin roof. I’m gone…
Let me tell you the secret
that has led me to my goals:
my strength lies solely in my tenacity.
Tuesday–October 19, 2021
Location–Stratton Pond Shelter (549.7), then to USFS-71 (558.6)
A cold night in Stratton Pond Shelter, mid thirties, but we all slept soundly. Rain came in shortly after I bedded down on the wooden platform. Never heard it!
Slim Jim prepared a fine hot Mountain House meal for me last night, then this morning, hot coffee and oatmeal.
We’ve a long, hard climb ahead of us today, up and over Stratton Mountain. Cold, windy, the climb. Snow and hoar frost everywhere on the summit.
There’s an old fire tower at the very top. Slim Jim & Kitchen Sink make the climb–while I rest in the warming sun, out of the wind, down below. The great view, the photo from there, was taken by Kitchen Sink.
These Green Mountains of Vermont are nowhere near as rugged as those to the north. Consequently, the ascents and descents aren’t as difficult. No more straight up and down boulders and ledges to deal with, just lots of not-so-scary elevation change. No matter, I take another hard fall today, stumbling through the mud and rocks. Seems I’ve broken my left hand–again. I’m able to grip my trekking pole okay, though. So, deal with it old man – HIKE ON…
Adversity causes some men to break;
others to break records.
(William Arthur Ward)