Thursday May 30, 18.3mi/29.5km
Sherman Brook campsite MA (1596.1) to Melville Nauheim shelter VT (1614.4)
I woke up to a wet tent, so it must have rained last night. But it was a perfect hiking day today, partly sunny and dry! The trail started off very nice…And it had an odd alternative route. No thanks, I’ll stick with the trail that has good weather!About 2mi/3km into the day, we came to the Vermont border. This is also where the 273-mile Long Trail starts. It is an older trail, and was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail. The Long Trail (LT) and the Appalachian Trail (AT) share the same path for 105 miles.And of course, there is heaps of mud at the border. Hikers sometimes call this state “Vermud”.There was one distant view all morning, at a power line corridor.And one view at a nice beaver pond. This was a perfect spot for moose, though I looked and didn’t see any.This photo shows the construction of the dam itself. Clever beavers.As usual, there were nice boardwalks to keep our feet mostly dry.At lunch, I celebrated being in Vermont the only proper way, with cheese! Cabot cheese.After lunch, there weren’t many views, but I started noticing the close-up scenery. Some flora:And fauna: (a newt)There was one view, at a high point called Harmon Hill. Looking west, down to Bennington:Then, after a ridiculously steep descent on slippery rock stairs, we crossed highway 9 and the Walloomsac Brook.And there were so many more newts! These spotted orange critters are everywhere, I try not to step on them.The final 2 mile climb up to our shelter for the night was slow. It wasn’t steep, and actually had some nice switchbacks, I was just hot and tired. There was also a neat piece of geology that the trail passed thru, called split rock.I arrived to the shelter at 5pm, to find this cool sign in red letters.There was a group of 5 people at the shelter when I arrived, but most of them departed, hiking south to the road and into town. One hiker remained, and he put on some episodes of a Netflix cartoon, and Bob and I watched too.
A nice relaxing finish to a fairly easy day!