Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bromley Mountain in Vermont

The hikers called from a cabin on top of the mountain to say that they went about 16 miles, met a women from Waterville maine and one from Embden! They were excited to meet them...they met and spoke to a lot of people...they are almost a quarter of the way! Hope to have new pictures on site soon.

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/27/07...Friday... As always, morning brings good things! I checked on mileages, and it looks like we actually hiked over 13 miles yesterday! We also need to hike just about 19 miles today!

We got a late start today, at 7:45 AM. Faithful is not feeling well, with an upset stomach and a tender knee. He was willing to try and push on, so off we went. We got up and over Killington Mtn., with much effort! Then, it was onward, trying for Minerva Hinchey Shelter, a mere distance of 19 miles. On our way, we met a dozen or so hikers that we were able to speak with. We were also pleased to come across some "trail magic", not once, but twice!The first time was a cooler full of Coca-Cola, and a box full of cheese/peanut butter crackers. That was extra special magic, as it included a note to the SOBO hikers that they should celebrate their 500th mile of hiking! Sure enough, as we left the cooler to resume hiking, we stepped, shortly, onto a road, where we saw that the magician had left another message. He had artfully placed stones to say "500!". That was SO THOUGHTFUL, and lifted our hiking spirits greatly!

We eventually made the miles that would bring us to Minerva Hinchey Shelter, at 8:15 PM. That's 19 miles in 12 1/2 hours, even with our breaks! Not bad... the last 4 1/2 miles were hiked in the rain and thunderstorm, but we made it...wet to the bone. Upon arriving at shelter, we were pleasantly surprised to find Connor and Amanda here. We had met them in Monson, Maine, at "Shaws". We had a great time with them tonight, and now everyone is asleep, except me. It is now 11:00 PM... and I should probably turn in. We have another big day tomorrow, as we need to get to the Post Office in Wallingford, for a resupply. ...and we also need to wash our stinky clothes! We will need to do a quick hike of a little more than 4 miles to get to the trailhead, then hopefully hitch a ride to town. Looks like thunderstorms are forecasted as the weather of the day, so please pray for everybody out on the trail.
For now, good night to you all, God Bless!

STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/28/07...Saturday... Up and at'em this morning in good order. We were on trail at 6:30 AM, and happy to hike only 3.6 miles to the trailhead. I know that yesterday I said it would be 4 miles... so... you might ask, "What's the difference? Why even mention that it is 3.6 miles? Doesn't that just round up to 4 miles?". Well, yes, it does indeed round up to 4 miles, on paper. On trail, it doesn't round up at all. It is 3.6 miles. Hiked. So, the difference would be... let's see... 0.4 miles! There are times when a tenth of a mile or so is not significant, and rounding up, or down, is OK. Examples of those times would be when it is sunny, and evening has not come, and you arrive at shelter early... OK to round off miles. Nobody is counting. But, when it is in the middle of a thunderstorm, or it is late at night and your headlamp is getting dim, then it becomes significant. Not having to hike 0.4 more miles becomes VERY significant! Yup! It was 0.4 miles less... but it seemed like 0.4 miles more... so it all works out!?! The climb out of Minerva Hinchey Shelter somehow took us down first, then up and over Bear Mtn. ... Now, I don't think Bear Mtn. got its name from being big, but rather, tough... bear tough... tough as a bear. It is only 2,220 ft. high, but STEEP! ...We got to the trailhead and were fortunate to quickly be picked up by a nice man in a worktruck. We couldn't have been waiting more than ten minutes. The man was a building contractor, and chatted with us as he kindly brought us into town. We were able to pick up our resupplies at the Post Office (Thanks, Cari!), then had a nice lunch. There is no laundry in town, so I guess we will hike dirty for a bit longer. I got to talk about the ministry with several folks in town, and gave them all cards. That included the store clerks in three different stores, the Postal worker, and some folks in the parking lot who asked where we were headed. We had a wonderful time! Then, it was time to try to get back on trail. We were again blessed to have another contractor offer a ride. We piled in to the back of a Suburban, and said our hellos to Jack's wife and two children. They were so nice, and (Michelle?) said that she would contact Cari via e-mail. So nice! After we said good-by at the trailhead, we looked up and realized that we were faced with yet another steep climb. It had an elevation gain of about 1300 ft., and it was a very quick gain. Off we went, and (PHEW!), we eventually made our way to Little Rock Pond Shelter, at about 6:00PM. We had been able to do all of our town business, eat, talk to lots of people, and still travel 9.5 miles, so it really was a great day!

We were blessed with the company of a young couple at the shelter tonight, Magnolia and Dudeman, and they were lot's of fun. They were ecstatic when I gave them a whole bag of marshmallows that I had carried up from town! Magnolia proudly made her first ever campfire, and they had a fine marshmallow roast. It was a happy time, with only one moment of near-marshmallow cooking-disaster! Magnolia had one of her treats burst into flame, and as she gently tried to whip the flames out, the little puff flew off of her stick, careening through the air like a miniature meteor, and crashed onto Dudemans foot... DUDE!!! Fortunately, and somewhat miraculously, it never hit flesh, but quickly burned itself into the sandal strap, where it will remain for eternity. As the bellies became filled, the roasting slowed down. The fire had become a wonderfilled ember-glow, and we chatted a little longer. We all decided that it was time to retreat to our sleeping quarters, and I told them to take the rest of the bag of mallows with them on their hike tomorrow, so they can try it again. They said they would love to, and that they would start a tradition of bringing marshmallows to other hikers, whenever they hiked. How neat!

Well, it certainly has been a long day, hasn't it? My watch says it is now 12:02 AM, so it is really tomorrow already. Time to SLEEP! Good night to some of you, good morning to the rest of you, and God Bless to ALL of you!


STICKMANS' JOURNAL...7/29/07...Sunday... Ouch! Rough start... didn't even wake up until 9:00 AM, never got on trail until 10:15 AM. Even so, we began hiking with a mindset to get, somehow, all the way to Bromley Shelter. That was asking alot from both of us, as the distance is 18.2 miles. There were also threats of thunderstorms, but we decided to give it a shot. Fortunately, the day ended up not being about where we would end up, but about seeing and talking with people! We talked with so many people that my mind is still spinning tonight. We stopped, on trail, several times to talk, enjoyed frequent shelter breaks to talk, and enjoyed our lunch and many rest breaks to take time with several other hikers. ...WOW! I had some great conversations and gave out plenty of cards. Folks stopped to chat, share pictures, and talk about anything and everything. It was so much fun! One interesting meeting was with two women at a shelter. One was from Waterville, Maine, and the other had moved, about two years ago, to Embden, Maine. For those of you who are from away, those two towns are very close to my hometown, Madison, Maine.

OK, time to wrap it up! We never made it to Bromley Shelter, as we spent so much time talking with folks today. Good trade-off! Somehow, though, we managed to drag ourselves to the top of Bromley Mtn., which has a nice skiers warm-up building there. They are very kind folks, and leave the building open for hikers.

Although we talked... and talked... we somehow managed to still tear up 17.2 miles of trail today, and arrived here at 9:15 PM! Although the hiking was great, the hikers are better, and I can't begin to mention all that we talked with. We did run into Rambo and Dreamer, two girls we had met in Maine, between Moxie Bald and Monson. Teapot was with them, and we had a brief, but nice visit before they went on. I did get to talk more at length with Teapot, when he, Faithful, and I shared an outcropping and a beutiful view during lunch. Real nice guy! Also, a shout out to "Life Traveler", up there on Peru Peak. I really had a good time talking with you!

As always, getting a little late, getting a little tired, need to turn in. God Bless all of you wonderful people... Good night!


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