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Album: journal:day27

Spruce Ledge to Hazen Notch Camp
24 Oct 2005
Day 27
14.7 miles, 262.3 cumulative miles

I woke at 05:00 but couldn't motivate myself to move from my bag for a long time. That was unfortunate because these days are so short it is hard to do many miles. Hazen Notch was my objective and I'd need all the sunlight I could get.

Breakfast was a Snickers and two Quaker Oats breakfast bars. It wasn't much, but it was fast. I left much later than I wanted and wasn't hiking the main trail until almost 08:00. Twenty-three minutes later I was in Devils Gulch, a narrow, boulder-strewn defile. It reminded me a little of an easy version of Mahoosic Notch in Maine on the AT. After that was Ritterbush Pond which might have looked nice in good weather, but at least it wasn't raining.

On the other side of the road, Eden's Crossing, Belvidere Mountain sat snowy and wet. For 45 minutes I tramped through slop. Then I hit the snowline. Another 15 minutes later I had ascended into the clouds. I chugged ahead cold and wet. At least there were tracks in the snow to guide me. Six hours after Spruce Ledge I was sitting in ramshackled Tillotson Camp eating a snack.

The rest of the day was more of the same. It wasn't until 17:00 that I descended out of the clouds into Hazen's Notch. Nobody knows why it was started or why it finished short but in 1778 to 1779 Generals Hazen and Bailey built a military road to reach Canada. It stopped here instead. Now Vt 58, a narrow unpaved road, passes through. I headed across racing darkness to the next camp. Darkness and I tied.

Here I found an entry in the shelter register from those northbound thruhikers, PC and Strange Brew. I didn't realize they are actually a party of four including also Salmon and guess who? Toad! I didn't expect him this far north - after all he already hiked it south with his mom. He is an End-to-Ender and then some. Congratulations if you are reading this. He also left the trail yesterday so I won't be seeing him. The others are on Jay Peak now.

Time to secure my food against mice and sack out.

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