4: Peru peak shelter to Minerva Hinchley Shelter

Carpenter woke me up, which I suppose set the stage for a not super great day. I like to wake myself up.
I didn’t sleep well, too. I feel like six hours of yoga wouldn’t be enough time to stretch.
But nonetheless, I got up and ate and we headed out, with me stopping to get water.

The day had more bog boards, with the fog and mist giving it all a creepy vibe.

And soon I came to Styles (?) peak. It was a bit of a scramble. Here are some action shots.

Just over, I ran into Carpenter. We chatted for a second, then hiked on. We both stopped at the next shelter for another delicious sandwich lunch, joined by an adventurous squirrel.

And after lunch, the sun came out. Oh blessed day!! Everything was green and bright.

At a road crossing, I stopped to talk to a Forest Service guy named Bill. He knew Hugh from the Firetower, too. I asked if he knew any good interesting bits about the section we were in now, and he told me to look for very dark, almost black soil; that was from the charcoal industry in the 1800s. I missed it. He also told me that Little Rock pond had been mined by Native American tribes for centuries and that when they were building the shelter there, and archaeologist had been on site and found a point there that dated back 10,000 years. Amazing.
So when I got to Little Rock Pond, I sat in the sun and thought about all of the people who had been here at this water. Had they sat in the sun and wondered where their lives were going? Were they worried about what was going to come next? Or were they just happy to have sun? Did they watch the minnows and tiny dinosaur lizards swim?

Ten thousand years is a lot of people.
I rinsed out socks and hiked on.
I was shocked when I came upon the rock cairns. I heard voices but didn’t know who it was. And the formations took me aback. The voices were Radar, Points, and Moses. They were hiking a small section and they were fun. They took my picture and we chatted for a second, and then I took off. I was a little slow today.

But there were more. These took my breath away and stopped me dead in my tracks.

I sat down on the ground and drank some water, wondering about all of the people who had placed rocks there. Did I know them? Invariably, I knew some of them.

I placed a rock or two myself, so that if you ever went, you can say that you knew someone who placed a few rocks.

I raced downhill for a few miles, passed some sweaty Boy Scouts struggling uphill. I took a wrong turn and had to struggle back uphill myself. Whoops.
3.6 miles to go, and I found Carpenter at the side of the trail, setting up his tent. He didn’t feel like going to the shelter, or perhaps he didn’t feel like hiking with me anymore. Different expectations and a failure to communicate.
I won’t lie, I had a bit of a cry somewhere on a rock within those 3.6 miles. It was quite a stiff uphill and I was hungry and thirsty.
So now I’m hiking my own hike and figuring it out.
I got to the shelter and it was empty. A thruhiker, just back on the trail after a few weeks off to heal a broken foot (stress fracture) was just behind me, so we took the shelter while a bunch of Quakers camped around. We chatted quite a bit and had a very pleasant evening. Renaissance, his name is. For such a change in plans, I’m absolutely all right. Mom, don’t freak out when you read this.
So tomorrow I’m going to do 16 I think, to a shelter on top of a huge hill that’s not in great shape but then neither am I 🙂
And then the next day I’ll have 10 down in to killington for food and then back on the trail. Not bad!

Miles: 19.6

Trip total: 59.8

MVP: empty shelter

LVP: last 3.6 miles?

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