Summary: 500 miles left! Big Branch Shelter: 1667.1 Governor Clement Shelter: 1690.2 Total miles: 23.1 We hung out at the shelter just beyond the camp site in the morning. Just long enough for Ducky and Dean to show up to hike with us for part of the day. We pushed some miles which took us to the rock gardens of Vermont. The rock gardens (there are two of them, one bigger than the other) are collections of cairns built by woodland gnomes (or people like Emily who saw some collapsed towers). We took a short break there, and enjoyed the magical fairy forest that we were now in. The fairies had cleaned up the mud entirely it seemed which was great.
We kept rocking and took a break at the nearby cascades where we, after weeks, found Monty again! We ate lunch, caught up with Monty, and headed out. We continued chatting on our way to Clarendon Gorge. At the gorge we creepily watched others swimming. We are jealous of those having real summers. We walked down a bit upstream to drink our Mio juice (these squeeze juice flavorings are seriously the best). Tyler dropped the o ring off of our Sawyer filter and used it as an excuse to go swimming. The other five tourists that eventually followed us down to our part of the river seemed quite disturbed.
*Monty, Tyler and Patch
*Monty, Duck Fart, Tyler and Patch
Eventually, we had to go and walked up out of the gorge. It was steep, but not long which is sort of the name of the game in Vermont. It was getting late, but our big event of the day was still ahead. We finally hit the 500 miles to go sign at 7:45 (a mile before the 500 of this year, we still passed that point before sleeping). We celebrated, but as the sun goes down earlier and earlier these days, we had to move on. We set up our tents just before the shelter, and thought about our upcoming plans. We have some crazy ideas for the White Mountains and will try and finalize them soon hopefully. We are trying to slack pack the Whites from Duck Farts friend's cabin and think, in order to make our September date, we can finish the whites in eight or nine days. Here's hoping!