Summary: Over 1700
Governor Clement Shelter: 1690.2
Gifford Woods State Park: 1703.9
Total miles: 13.7
Our plan for the day was to do another short resupply in Killington. There's not a great deal of camping that is labeled near the road into Killington, but we thought we would try the state park and see what their rates were. We were delayed hiking a bit. After Duck Far'ts morning privy visit, Tyler noticed something on the back of his coat. Tyler, with a tentative touch, discovered that it was human excrement from a previous privy visitor. There was a lot of gagging, yelling, and throwing of objects. After the most thorough cleaning that could be mustered with our meager supplies, Duck Fart just had to pack it up and we hit the road. We started hiking by 8:30 just as Dean and Ducky arrived from their camp site a few miles before. Our big crew, Duck Fart, Patch, Monty, Dean, Ducky, and the two of us, headed up Killington, our first four thousand foot summit in months. The climb was gorgeous, the wide spaces pond forests continued, but it was fairly long. Another precursor to the serious climbs soon to come in New Hampshire.
*Governor Clement Shelter
At the summit, Dean, Ducky, and Monty took breaks for snacks and lunch. The rest of us pushed on. The two of us took a nice long break by ourselves to recenter the best we could, and continued to catch up to Duck Fart and Patch.
Today we also left the Long Trail. It was a confusing intersection since both trails use white blazes. In fact, we found out later than Ducky and Dean accidentally followed the Long Trail for three miles before realizing their mistake and backtracking. Six bonus miles is not something we would wish on anyone.
We didn't really have any other breaks until the state park. Before grabbing a campsite (campsites were either twenty a piece or six per person at the thru hiker site) we met up with Anvil and met Avalanche and her parents who would occasionally camp with Avalanche on her thru hike. They shared their treats with us, and then we headed off to reserve a site, set up camp, and head off to the market. We got our resupply and then headed to a restaurant in Killington.
We got a quick hitch for the three mile journey from a local landscaper named Nick to Charity's saloon. We made sure to buy him a beer for a future visit (he's no stranger to the saloon. While eating, we also solidified our slack pack plan though to put it into practice we needed someone to act as our ride. Bambi and Spike, enjoying off trail life, thought a trip up to the Whites in a sweet mountain cabin (with the additional benefit to see us) would be great. So, after three days out of Hanover, NH we would have a chance for mountain cabin living for a while in the Whites.
*Duck Fart the drink. We didn't know that this was an actual drink but it is and here they are. It is made with Kahlua, whiskey and Bailey's.
We tried catching a hitch back to the state park for about thirty minutes, but lost patience and called an uber. It was a cheap fair (especially considering it was a 20 mile drive to get us). But Bono did grab us, an old hat at ubering hikers around.
Back at the state park, we found Monty relaxing at the main pavilion with some other hikers. The park manager, Sam, was also there. She showed us around the house she lived in at the park (recently moved into). It was huge! Though after living in a tent for 4.5 months, perhaps our judgment is a bit skewed.
Back at the camp, we sat around the fire with Anvil, Avalanche, and Avalanche's parents, Mark and Mary Jo. It was a great night. After a fairly short day, good food, and a night of storytelling, we did still end up getting tired at the late time of 10:00. We headed back to our fancy pants gravel tent site. We were the only site with bear bags hanging in the trees and no car.