Day 6 started early, or Day 5 extended on into the night depending on how you want to look at it. Sharing a shelter with three noisy sleeping pads and the folks rolling around on them all night was not a joy. Very little sleep was to be had before the rain began at dawn. It came in waves, with downpours for a bit and then showers. It was still raining hard when I left to head down into Johnson for my resupply.
It had let up a bit, just light showers, by the time I reached Prospect Rock. Instead of falcons I met a small flock of big wild turkeys there. A very neat spot despite the weather I’m guessing the view on a clear day would be amazing.
After dropping down off the cliff it was soon time to cross the Lamoille River just before hitting Rt 15 highway. I picked up my box of food at the hardware store and proceeded to cram it all into my mostly empty bear can.
Somewhere in there things fell apart and in conversations with my wife I decided to end the hike and go home. Mentally I was never really in the right place for this hike and my resolve to continue on was just not there. I’d been hiking in wet clothes for days and the thought of three more weeks of that seemed impossible. If money wasn’t an issue I would have just inserted a hotel stay every few days to dry out, but that would have added too much cost to the trip.
Looking at things more clearly now I can see that my Seasonal Affect was really bad this year. Mental focus is important on trail and my mind was a shambles heh. While my gear and logistics were all in place, without a focused mind every day was a struggle. When the moment came to embrace the suck I just didn’t have it in me. Hard lessons to learn on trail, but important. A trip of this difficulty level can’t be done by just going through the motions. If I try again I will have to make certain my head is in the right place before I start. Saving up enough for a few hotel stays would probably be a good idea too because drying out on trail didn’t seem very possible given the short days.
Sorry to string you along on a trip cut short. I haven’t looked at any of the video yet, but there may be a YouTube version of the story in the near future. I’ll leave you here with the view of my last night’s camp, alone in the forest.
Day 5 started with an early morning rain shower. Even without the rain my trail clothes were not drying overnight. That morning the wet extended to my tarp and even the quilts were starting to feel a bit soggy from the humidity.
Thankfully I was feeling a bit better that morning because the climb up from Corliss to the top of Laraway was waiting for me. The actual summit wasn’t much to write home about. A boulder and sign marked the spot, but i wasn’t even really out of the trees. Then I got to the lookout and found my views for the day!
Definitely a glorious spot to eat cheese and sausage! The rest of the day was back in the tree tunnel, but for a few minutes in the sunshine with the wind blowing hard I actually began to dry out. I met some day hikers who came up and then many more on my way down the mountain. This viewpoint was a local favorite and I could see why.
With a big storm expected overnight and in the morning I headed up to the Roundtop Shelter to spend the night. I am really not a fan of shelters, but the thought of getting any wetter was too much heh.
Apologies for the lack of pics. This was an ugly day of hiking with a bad stomach. The first few hours went pretty well actually though.
Just before dropping down into Devil’s Gulch this window opened giving me a peek at Spruce Ledge on the far side. It was heading up that steep climb the fun went out of the day heh. I was 6 miles from camp when my stomach gave out. The rest of the day was a mental game of holding things together while on the move.
I dragged my butt up that ridge and then up to the top of Butternut Mtn before dropping down steeply into a notch where I found Corliss Camp. It was nice to make camp earlier. There was time to chat with some of the many hikers I found there already before getting some nice rest.