Churchill Scott Shelter to Greenwall Shelter – 24 miles
Around the time many hikers are setting up camp in the afternoon, I usually get a second wind. This evening was no different. My legs felt limber, good music flowed through my earbuds, and I felt like I could walk forever. And so I did, at least until the last usable light.
I Iove these evening strolls. The air is cooler, I get the trail even more to myself, and I can soak up the last flecks of orange light that stream through the maple leaves. And maybe, just maybe, I might catch a glimpse of my own long shadow. Clearly I miss sunsets, so I’ll take what I can get.
I’m still thrilled by the change in terrain since entering Vermont. I can stretch my legs and stride along without fussing over footing. I came out here to get some exercise and burn off that cooped up feeling from living in the city so long, so it feels good to simply walk.
Night after night, these miles add up. Most of the southbounders I meet have been on the trail roughly twice as long as me. I’m not fast, but I am consistent. It’s miles per day, not miles per hour, that count in this activity. As the days get shorter, twilight miles will become increasingly important.
I’m not in a huge rush to finish this hike, but I do like to keep moving. I hiked 24 miles and still had time to visit a historic small town store, take a dip in a swimming hole, write in my journal, and try to watch the eclipse (with limited success).
Part of me feels slightly bad for coming in to camp at dusk, during unofficial quiet hours. But then I realize my rustling is much softer than the cacophony of snoring, farting, and crinkling of air mattresses that comes from any campsite. I put my earplugs in and fell fast asleep, tired after a big day.