8/10, Day 103, Clarendon Shelter to US Highway 4, 16.4 miles
We woke up after a night of rain to a drippy, murky morning. I could tell that the entire day would never be brighter than twilight zone. I was right but we talked to enough people that our day seemed brighter.
We met Circuit Rider, who we had been told early on was a very fast hiker on his 3rd through hike. However, he is a circuit preacher and leaves the trail for obligations and then picks up where he left the trail. Right after we talked to him a runner passed us going south. It was Cave Dog who is trying to set a Long Trail speed record by running over 60 mpd, sleeping 90 min per day! Wow! He looked strong. We had actually hoped that he would postpone his try because of bad weather and horrible trail conditions, but he looks like he can keep going.
The third interesting meeting was with Commander-in-Chief. I had been reading her journal before I left home and had heard recently that she is from VT and is slacking from home. She came up from behind us and I realized who she was and said hello with her trail name. She then saluted us. What a nice compliment!
Every hiker assumed that we would go in to stay at the Long Trail Inn, so we added it to our itinerary tonight. Great decision! Showers after all our falls in the mud will be wonderful. Breakfast comes with the room.
We climbed all morning to get to the top of Killington Mtn at 4217′. The guide says that 5 states and the southern Canadian provinces are visible from the top. As the rain and mist blew by we caught glimpses of the different views and they were beautiful. This is the mtn from which Vermont gets its name. The French called it Verd Mont (Green Mtn) which is very apt. We also has a nice view this evening as a few rays of the sun low in the sky slid in under the clouds and slipped in between the birches to highlight some yellow flowers. Everything sparkled with a covering of water droplets before the clouds closed in and rain fell again.
Being inside tonight is the right place to be.