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The Long Trail : Day 15 : Part 1 : 10/5/20 . Today was a day full of surprises. I assumed the hike would be much like the day before. Steep, rocky, slabby, slow. There were rough moments but overall the terrain was much faster and it was a very welcomed surprise. We busted up and over Bolton hoping to get in some decent miles before starting up Vermont’s high point, Mount Mansfield. . We took a quick break at a shelter that was perched on the edge of the mountainside with a gorgeous view of our next challenge. Mansfield looked so far in the distance it was hard to fathom we’d be standing on the top of Vermont that afternoon. . After a quick descent we were on our way up. I was pleasantly surprised that the climb wa easier than expected. Soon enough we were entering “the forehead”. Now, supposedly, from a distance, Mount Mansfield looks like the profile of a face lying down. Hence, we were now on “the forehead”. Many hikers find this area a bit harrowing or spooky at the very least. But, the rock was solid and I was in a great mood so I was really enjoying the challenge. There were good scrambles with big holds, ladders, and best of all, dry rock! . We finished the crux of the area and spent the next several miles gawking at the beauty of the mountains around us. The sun, the clouds, hills, leaves, and lakes, all came together to make one heck of a canvas! . The last stretch to the top we found the day hikers and started picking them off one by one until we were on the top of VT! We’d plan to stay at the lodge only a 1/2 mile off the summit but we’d made such good time we decided to press on. We bounded down the mountain as fast as possible to see how far we could get. We pulled up 2.5 miles short of the next shelter and found a sufficient (only by thru hiker standards) stealth spot a little of the trail. What a heck of a day it had been. I need to bottle up these days and moments to remind myself just how strong I am and how incredibly proud I should be of what I’m capable of!