Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 2: A Frosty Evening

Dscn4502September 5: It did rain overnight—which seemed to surprise everyone in the shelter despite my predictions the previous evening. The weather still looked cloudy and dreary and although the rain had stopped by sunrise, it still looked like it might continue again at any moment. The forecast I saw did call for a 20% chance of rain in the morning, but I blithely predicted that the rain was over and the skies would clear throughout the day.

Which is exactly what happened, and now the people from that shelter started taking my weather predictions a lot more seriously. =)

I continued north on the trail. The one good thing to note was that the exasperating mud from the previous day largely stopped after the first mile or two of the day. Oh, there was the occasional mud bowl in the trail throughout the entire day, but the long stretches of it soon gave way to much better (and drier) trail—despite the rain during the night.

A few places had great views over Bennington where the memorial for the Battle of Bennington during the American Revolution took place towered over everything else in the area. I didn’t realize how obvious it was from a distance! Maybe it was because it was raining when I hiked through here on my AT thru-hike.

My sore knee from the day before grew progressively worse throughout the day, though, and became more of a real pain. I wasn’t panicking about it yet, but my concern level grew along with the pain and it was definitely affecting my walk today. Bending the knee hurt, so I tried to keep it as straight as possible using my left leg to climb steps while dragging my right leg behind and starting down hills with my right leg straight then following with the bent left knee. On flat ground, I would try to swing my right leg around rocks and other obstacles on the trail. It definitely slowed my pace and I hoped that by favoring my right knee like I was that I wasn’t putting undue pressure on my left knee!
The descent down to state route 9 which leads into Bennington was brutally steep—a wretched little piece of trail that seemed to descend faster than it ran. It took me more than an hour to cover just a single mile of trail, but I eventually made it down. The climb back out from route 9 wasn’t nearly as steep, though, and my speed improved.

By the time I arrived at Goddard Shelter nearly 15 miles later, the shelter was already full. Sheryl was camped inside while Tom and John set up camp behind the shelter. I probably could have fit into the shelter if I really wanted it, but it wasn’t supposed to rain overnight and I decided I’d rather cowboy camp behind the shelter as well inviting myself to dinner with Tom and John. They’re the older gentlemen, brothers as it turned out, from Connecticut who are section hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Immediately after the sun set, the temperature plummeted rapidly. I didn’t know how cold it was going to get, but it was clearly going to be a lot colder tonight and I warned Tom and John that I heard on the news that the first frost to hit the region was expected to come on Friday. It was Thursday night so I suggested that it might get even colder tomorrow.

“Or tomorrow morning,” one of them suggested.

Oh, yeah. I forgot… for some reason, I was thinking Friday night. It makes a lot more sense that the frost would happen Friday morning! Which meant… Thursday night! Tonight! Yep, it was definitely going to be a nippy night.

After dinner, the two brothers headed off to sleep and I read my Kindle until I started falling asleep and went to sleep myself. All-in-all, it was a relatively uneventful but pleasant day. =)

This view was from Harmon Hill, and the memorial
for the Battle of Bennington is quite obvious from
a distance! =)

The descent to Route 9 was steep and slow, and
my bum knee wasn’t helping matters at all…

Vermont’s Route 9! A lot of hikers will hitch into Bennington from
here, but since I just left town the day before, I won’t!

Don’t brush against these plants. Really. Just don’t.
Trust me on this. =)

I guess I wasn’t the only person carrying too much food.
I found these cans sitting on a rock near the trailhead.
I might have had too much food, but at least none of it
was in cans!

William D. MacArthur Bridge

Split Rock


The morning might have started overcast and threatening,
but the day turned out quite nice!

See the moth pretending to be part of the leaf?
As if the leaf were turning fall colors already?

Goddard Shelter was quite full when I arrived,
so I decided to cowboy camp behind the shelter.
It would get frosty tonight, though!


Anonymous said...

I find it funny that here you are talking about the problems you are having with your knee, and then at the bottom of the post is an Ad from a local clinic that says "Do you have knee pain?"
Don't Panic!

Anonymous said...

"The weather still looked cloudy and dreary and although the rain had stopped by sunrise, it still looked like it might continue again at any moment."

Welcome to hiking/backpacking in Vermont. I am going to find this entire blog series VERY nostalgic and home sickness inducing!

PI Joe in Tx, but not a Texan!

Anonymous said...

May your knee pain be gone. Walk on.


Anne Bonny said...

Beautiful pics! That split rock is amazing!!

Papercrafts by Cindyellen said...

i'm feeling homesick already. i thought about you the whole time i was in VT this week. i figure you must have been somewhere near me; i was up near Burlington.