Bromley Shelter [mile 1554.5; SOBO 536.1]
Well, it’s back to handwriting and transcribing. I’m cutting back on the zeroes, which means less opportunity to charge up. Gotta save juice, and the journal uses a big chunk of it. But this is it: the long final push. I have to save every daylight hour I can for walking.
I woke up feeling much better. Oddly, I didn’t sleep much longer. But hanging in the warm tent and reading was rejuvenating.
As for my fiendish plan to put my stuff under the mat for insulation… well, yes and no. I was plenty warm, but it wasn’t a cold night. On the other hand, the problem with the broken baffles was exacerbated. That thing tossed me all over the inside of the tent like a watermelon seed in a blender. That’s not going to work in the rain.
But it’s moot. I should have my good mat in about four days.
This morning I hit the trail at 6:45. The dawn through the trees was crimson. I haven’t seen much of that lately. ‘Red sky in moning, sailor take warning’—isn’t that how it goes? I knew bad weather was coming, and I thought, ‘Uh-huh, today’s the day.’
But it wasn’t! I got a reprieve. A gift. The day was gorgeous—blue sky, alternating pockets of chill and summery warmth, sometimes windy and sometimes still. It’s amazing how quickly the leaves are changing—faster than I’m walking, that’s for sure. A lot of the yellows are out now, and the ground crunches with every step. It feels like cinnamon tea and pumpkin bread. Neither of which I have.
The trail curled around the outside of Lake Griffith on bog bridges. How cool would it be if the trail were like that from here to Harpers? But not, alas.
From there I climbed a couple of smallish peaks. One was reminiscent of the northerly rock faces; there was even a bad weather trail. It was brief and easy, though—although I wondered if the NOBO thrus had found it scary or tricky. Hard to say; I don’t know yet what they’d already seen.
Speaking of whom, I met a couple of NOBO thrus who are still thinking they’ll make Katahdin. (I wanted to say, Honey, your trouble comes LONG before Katahdin.) Most of the traffic out here, though, has been Long Trail hikers. (The Long Trail and the AT are contiguous for 105 miles here.) So few people. The trail’s becoming desolate. A little ghost town. More reason to push.
The last mountain today was Bromley, and the trail went down a ski slope. Closest I’ve ever been to skiing! Glad I was going down, not up.
And that’s it! The weather’s changing for the worse: rain, and winds that are howling like banshees on fire. I’m pitched on a platform. Fingers crossed!