Sunday, September 2, 2018
Start: Duxbury Rd/Black Barn Farm
End: Birch Glen Shelter
Mileage: 15.7 on LT
Elevation gain/loss: 5645’/3952′
After an adventure at Black Barn Farm and a lovely zero day in Waterbury hitting up Cabot and Ben & Jerry’s, among others, we were ready to hit the trail again.
Last night, we petitioned Mike to drop us off at the trailhead around 7am this morning and he acquiesced. There were 3 other hikers at the farm, and there was a fair amount of pot smoking and alcohol consumption going on last night. I think both Beth and I had hit a wall with what we could tolerate, so we mostly hid away and did our own thing.
After one last night at the farm, we took off from the Duxbury road trailhead around 7:30am. After a 6 mile climb, we finally summited Camel’s Hump and had yet another socked-in summit with more than 2 dozen people there.
After a quick snack and water break, the descent from Camel’s Hump was slippery but not too bad. We stopped for a short break at the Montclair Glen lodge, where we got to deal with more holiday weekend day hikers and their wild children asking inappropriate questions. By this point, both Beth and I were pretty dang tired. We plodded up to the summit of Mt Ethan Allen, where we got some small views.
And then we had some really slippery, rough terrain between that summit and the peak of Burnt Rock Mountain. There was a section with multiple ladders and a few ropes, and many areas with wet rock and treacherous terrain. Beth took a few spills, one of which was a really intense, 360 degree spin, tail over teakettle kind of fall that left her with a bleeding palm and elbow, and a very bruised knee. Today’s terrain was exhausting but we prevailed.
However, after pushing on to Birch Glen Lodge after passing by the closed Cowles Cove Shelter, we arrived at the lodge to find it almost full with 6 people there already. Two of them are brothers who are section hiking pieces of the Long Trail each summer. They’re going to be out for a week. They have been chatty and respectful. However, the other 4 are Quebecois and are treating the lodge like it’s their personal space. Both Beth and I are pretty done with holiday overnight and day hikers… They took over the one table here, and kept it to themselves the entire evening. They spread all around the shelter; they haven’t talked to us almost at all. They’re currently making a campfire at 9pm with very flammable liquid, and don’t sound sober; they’re talking and laughing loudly at the tops of their voices with 0% regard for anyone else. Sometimes, I hate people…
At least tomorrow should be nice, in terms of terrain, though we will most likely have rain tomorrow during our hike. But we only have 13.6 miles, so it should go by quickly!