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Today I woke a little late after a horrible sleep. The mice were crazy all night long and kept me up. I made breakfast, got water, and left camp. The views were great from the start today. We had a large climb and my knees were okay doing it. I came down the the bridge and the gorge that I vividly remember from my thru-hike. Then I remembered the road crossing and a horrible and steep climb up. It was more of a vertical rock scramble than a trail.
While I was getting water at the next shelter I met a man who seemed very off. He was watching me in the distance and approached and asked for food. He said his card was declined in town. I asked where he was going but his story didn’t make any sense. I gave him some bars and hit the trail.
There was another nasty climb and then I took a break on the summit of Beacon Hill. I picked loads of tiny blackberries. Cole (now named “Sting”) joined and we chatted for a bit. His knees are also hurting him. I pushed on and then we came down to another area that I remembered. It was the gorge with the steep climb next to the river. After that we hit the 500 miles to Katahdin sign. My heart ached. I remembered standing here five years ago and thinking how short that mileage felt and how sad I was that it was almost over. I almost want to keep on the AT and head to Katahdin instead of doing the LT. If only I had the time.
I took a break at the shelter before Killington. I met Riley who looked just like a college professor of mine and also is studying Computer Science. Sting came by and we all chatted and elevated our legs. We agreed to get a room together tomorrow night and exchanged info.
The climb up Killington was long but wasn’t that hard. It was just that my knees made me go painfully slow. It was otherwise so beautiful. I arrived at camp and Sting did shortly after. We had some dinner and saw what we could of an amazing sunset through the trees and a small clearing above the shelter. Tomorrow we hit town.