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Album: journal:day32

a tree to Quebec to Journey's End Camp II
29 Oct 2005
Day 32
7 miles, 280.9 cumulative miles

Last night under the tree was not too uncomfortable. This morning my sleeping bag was coated in ice however. Some of my clothes were still damp as well, but most had steamed off nicely inside the bag; hence the ice.

Today's goal was the end of the trail, but that changed during the day. The snow wasn't as deep but there were some route finding challenges and one of them took an especially long time. At least the weather was good. The sky was even blue.

Last night I thought I was fairly close to Shooting Star Shelter. It was only 2.9 miles from the beginning of the descent down the Jay Peak massif. Since I had spent 2 hours hiking down yesterday, I had good reason to believe that I was near Shooting Star, however, I needed another 3 hours to reach it. Unbelievable!!

At the shelter it was warm and sunny, and I took a break for a lunch of Ramen Noodles. Still reeling from the shock of how slow those last miles were, I figured there was no way I could make the end of the trail that same day. My new goal was just to make it over the little bump of Doll Peak and drop down to North Jay Pass where I would find another tree to sleep under.

What happened was a beautiful combination of two factors. Number 1 was the Sunday effect. Being a Sunday there were dayhikers, and Number 2, the lower elevation and sun meant a lot less of the white stuff. Not long after leaving the shelter I encountered a Canadian couple who gave me more than just a muffin. They gave me their tracks to follow all the way back to the pass! Following in their steps took me to the road crossing quickly. I began to think finishing today was possible. Then I discovered tracks on the other side of the pass too! It was a race against the sun up over Carlton Mountain and down again.

The sun had just set behind a ridge when I popped out onto the border swath. The swath is a narrow tree cut alond the USA-Canada border. Hurray! At first I didn't see the marker on the opposite side of a rock outcrop and was a little confused. When I saw it, I whooped and made with the camera. I was finally done. Honestly I was relieved and jubilant not to have to worry and deal with the weather any more. I practically ran down the side trail to Journey's End Camp II. I'm done with the Long Trail but not out of the woods yet.

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