July 7th
Governor Clement Shelter(1686.4)-N of Stony Brook(1708.8) Vermont

Elevation chart courtesy of Guthook’s AT Hiker app. He has apps for many trails including the PCT and CDT.

It was perfectly cool weather for lounging this morning. I was pretty tired last night and didn’t finish blogging, so I finished it this morning. I haven’t done that before, but I knew today would be a shorter mileage day and that I could get a relaxed start. I left by 7am and had about two hours of uphill hiking to Killington Peak, Vermont’s second highest peak. Well, the AT goes by the side trail to the top, so I took the steep and rocky .2mi side trial to the top. Many thrus don’t do this one, but I just needed to summit something and see a view. The summit was just over 4,000ft high and was the first time I’ve gone over 4,000ft since the Priest in Virginia.

By the time I came down, Geared Up had arrived. We ended up hiking together most of the day. Knowing I had time, I was much more leisurely in my hiking early this morning. I took advantage of the cell signal gained at the higher elevation and did some emailing, texting, and phone calls while I could. This slowed me more than I noticed and was not happy with the just 10.5mi done by lunch. I had started late and lost focus and that’s how easy it is to really lose miles. It’s a slippery slope and easy to fall into a slower rhythm if I’m not careful. I was hiking leisurely thinking I only had 25mi to do and did little things here or there that added up to a lot of lost miles…more than I intended.

We did reach the split for the AT and LT(Long Trail). I will be returning to this spot after I finish the AT to then complete the remaining 173mi of the LT.

Geared Up and I ate lunch at nice stream. I even got to Skype with my nephew as I hiked. We knew there was a 50% chance of rain and/or thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening and just hoped it would pass, but skies darkened after lunch. We were going to meet Squatch to do some filming on trail around 2pm. He was at a lodge that was right on the trial and it started to pour about 10mins before we arrived. I popped up the umbrella and Geared Up put on the poncho he uses. He has out PCT and AT stickers on it for fun.

We were very happy to be inside and out of the rain as we visited with Squatch. I was almost convinced to stay the night as the rain looked like it wasn’t going anywhere and I was not in the mood to hike through it. As I said, this leisurely hiking thing is a slippery slope. I got to eat a great second lunch there and the rain actually stopped.

We did some on trail filming with Squatch and headed out by 3:30pm. I kicked myself for not getting a picture of this part of the day, but Geared Up had one candid he took of me and Squatch so I got a picture of it displayed on his Kindle. I appear to be giving Squatch directorial advice…

Again, this filming is for the third part of Squatch’s AT film series, Flip Flop Flippin’ and I should hopefully make the cut. It will come out in February or March. With all the distractions today, this was fixin’ to be my lowest mileage for a full day of hiking on the AT, which I think was a 21mi day in Shenandoah due to camping restrictions. We hiked a good deal of uphill to a shelter and it was 6pm. I wanted to hike a couple more miles, so I hiked on solo as Geared Up wanted to be in the shelter since his tarp isn’t great in rain.

Speaking of rain, it started to drizzle about a mile later. I wanted to continue uphill until I got cell service as it really delays me when I can’t do all my posting and emailing at night. I was pretty stubborn in choosing a site once I did get service, but I didn’t want to get stuck setting up in heavy rain. It was all well sheltered, so I was happy with that. I just kept thinking I’d find something better further up. Then thunder rolled just before 7pm with no lightning, but that was enough of a warning for me. I immediately took a flat spot near the trail and quickly got the tent up.

It rained a bit and has since stopped with some distant rumblings every so often. I’m hoping it passes, but there is a chance throughout the night for rain or storms.

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