Vermont is known for many things beyond mud. The turning point in part was Mount Killington. My first 4000 on the trail, strangest occurrence of trail magic with the appearance of the 'Gatorade Fairy' and just finding the most positive souls as I hiked.
Merlin (not pictured) and Dayglow were doing the Long Trail on their way to Quebec. We didn't often hike together during the day since I lollygag too much for Merlin but we met up at the shelters and chatted hours away. Dayglow tackled so much on this hike that was outside of her comfort zone she was just inspirational. (Moosehead is in the kilt, he was thru hiking the trail and a great guy to share a run down mouse laden shelter with.)
I was sad to lose Merlin & Dayglow when the Long Trail and the AT divided. They continued north straight up Vermont to Quebec and I turned towards New Hampshire. (Back when I was planning this looking at the maps of New Hampshire was enough to scare me but there were miles of Vermont left before that.) I had the luck to run in to a group of women hiking together. I hadn't seen many groups hiking, sharing food and duties when it came to camp. In the beginning I thought they were a group of friends who came together every year to hike part of it. Wasn't until later that I discovered they had come together through an ad and for some it was their first time in a group hike. It was like being back in the ebb and flow of hiking with Charlie & Irish since they took set breaks, actual lunches and often just enjoyed the rush of a cold stream or the warmth of the sun in a field.
Lucky 70 and I spent an entire day slowly hiking along and discussing almost everything under the sun from shared Danish heritage to her experiences of hiking Maine. She had decided a few years prior to celebrate her 70th birthday by hiking the AT in Maine. Until then she hadn't done many over night hikes at all. To learn that it is never too late to start your passion was rather reassuring.
Tomorrow I will introduce you to New Hampshire & Greyhound who tackled it with me.
(In case you want to support mine of heading to Georgia next year there is a button below this image of Eagle which will take you to the calendar.)