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The Long Trail : Day 18 : Part 1 : 10/8/20 . What a hell of a day! We had big plans and ended up with way fewer miles than expected. The morning started by waking up in the cabin full of strangers. Dave and I were on the top bunk/platform/shelf, whatever you’d like to call it. I was doing my best to quietly get out my pot and stove to make breakfast when the pot slipped out of my hands and loudly fell to the ground. I was officially the person I hate in communal living spaces. The early start didn’t matter because soon enough our new friends were awake and we are enjoying the company of other hikers once again. . It’s surprising how easy it is to lose your flow of routine when the rules are slightly changed. In our tent, I’m efficient, I know where my things are and just how long I needed to go through my various tasks. All bets were off in the shelter and we got a much later start than intended. We finally said our goodbyes and headed into the Devil’s Gulch followed by a climb up Belvidere. . The climb skirts the summit of Belvidere but we decided to take the blue blaze trail to check out the view from the fire tower. In good conditions, fire towers are scary to me. Something about how they sway in the wind and have super steep stairs unnerves me. Today, this one, was also encrusted with ice. I made it up the first set of stairs then told Dave I was coming down as I had zero intentions of sliding to my death on a Vermont fire tower. My plan was to deter him from going up as well. It didn’t work. He was going to go up with or without me. I hate being left out of a good view so I swallowed my fear and went for it. . I breathed steadily and took slow focused movements up each stair while tightly gripping the ice covered railing with my gloved hands like my life depended on it, because it did! I emerged on the top and had a beautiful view of the frosty landscape. Sometimes I just need a little push out of my comfort zone. After the fire tower adventure we were feeling confident and set our sights on finishing the next day, a day early. What could go wrong, we asked ourselves?