Its the first of July and cold and rainy, just as it has been since we started the hike more than two weeks ago. Dennis used to brag that it did not rain on him.Nature decided to change his good fortune and make up for all those years of sunshine.
Dennis was the first up in the shelter and rekindled the fire. We all sat around it eating breakfast and preparing to climb Killington with an elevation of more than 4000 ft. Just as were were ready to leave, it started lightening and thundering, so we waited for a break.
Today, I wore rain pants and jacket, and dirty socks for mittens. I have nothing left that is dry and look forward to getting to Rutland, about a 12 mile walk over the mountain.
Last night I wrapped my lower torso in a black contractor bag, hoping to keep warm. Unfortunately, the plastic retained my sweat and soaked my bag. Perhaps putting under me will have a more favorable affect.
I don’t mind walking in a light rain, but the torrential downpour makes it difficult to walk, adds unwanted water weight, and makes the trail slippery. Dennis was dragging. I think the cold, lack of sleep, and the dreary day was taking its toll. He was looking forward to staying at Cooper Lodge, taking a nap, and then getting on the amateur radio.
We we disappointed when we got to the lodge on Killington Peak. It is dilapidated. The fireplace has been walled in, the windows are broken, and the door does not latch. It was dank and dark. I changed out of my wet clothes into my sleepware, the only dry clothes left. Dennis boiled water for Ramen Noodle soup. We don’t usually have a warm meal at noon, but we needed it to warm us. It also provided Dennis with the electrolytes he needed to energize him.
Climbing down from Killington was equivalent to an obstacle course. Overflowing rivers, slick rocks, down trees, and fallen rocks impeded our way to Route 4.
At Rt 4, we took off our muddy outerwear and donned our camp shoes. We feared no one would give us a ride if we were caked in mud. We managed to get the last Diamond Express bus (6:30 PM) into Rutland. The fare: $2.00 each.
The driver, Michael, was very informative and listed our options. We choose to stay at the Holiday Inn. It is on the city bus line and for 50 cents (25 cents for Seniors) we could get into downtown. What a deal!
Hot shower, king-size bed, and warmth await us.