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Last night after we were all in our tents the sky opened up and poured during a crazy lightning and thunder storm. I thankfully had already put my fly on after contemplating sleeping without it. I woke around 5:30, packed up, and all had breakfast and coffee with everyone from the night before. I left before everyone who was going north. The man who was with his son who did the AT/PCT in the 90s left to go south.
I hiked with my net on all morning so I could avoid getting webs in my face. It was quiet and beautiful. A couple hours in I came to the road and a parking lot. I immediately knew it was the road Sarah and I started at when we did our big day to Killington. In 2015 we hiked 29.1 miles from here past the summit of Killington. I wished my legs were as strong now as they were then. There was a woman at the parking lot who gave us hot dogs for trail magic. Her name was Queen Diva. Since I don't eat meat she made me some vegan dogs. We all dried our tents out and enjoyed the magic.
I hiked on and I was remembering so much. I saw a bridge I remembered and the lake from that morning too. It's strange that I could immediately remember something was just around the bend and sure enough there it was. The lake was gorgeous. I sat and remembered the quiet morning I was here five years ago. This time people were swimming in the lake but five years ago we'd come through in mid September and we were the only ones.
I started to feel a lot of pain in my legs again and slowed down. Around the same time the day became very hot and sticky. There was a heat advisory for Rutland where the temp hit 91. I'm not sure what it was but it was hot.
I hiked past the rock gardens where people have stacked all sorts of creative cairns and made shapes out of the rocks. It smelled like Christmas trees while I was hiking through there. I stopped to take in some deep breaths. I saw that Faithful was elevating her leg a few miles down the trail and when I asked what happened Renegade said she'd taken a fall. I stuck around with Slow and Steady to help out. We took their packs to the next shelter but then realized there was no water so we came back. We found a family who offered to help carry their packs down the mountain for them. We called Queen Diva and arranged a pickup at the next road. It was only 1.3 miles but it was a very steep descent which made things very slow and painful for Faithful.
At the bottom of the climb Slow and Steady and myself met Queen Diva and she gave us cookies and Gatorade and then went to go meet Faithful. We had one final climb that sucked. On the way up I met a guy named Mr. President who was finishing his triple crown and starting a non profit that was trail related.
I got to camp and saw Cole and a lot of new faces. I decided to stay in the shelter with my tent setup and everyone decided to hang their food bags in the shelter with me. I can already hear mice stirring.