Vermont, part 1: days 91-94

Day 91: North Adams to Bennington, 18.4 miles
Day 92: Bennington, 0 miles
Day 93: Bennington to Story Spring Shelter, 19 miles
Day 94: Story Spring Shelter to Bromley Shelter, 23.1 miles

Total AT miles hiked: 1652.7

We slept in at the campground, then joined Jared and his family for one more homemade meal. They sent us off with a bag off cookies, and dropped us off at the grocery for us to resupply for the first part of Vermont. We said our goodbyes, then got to shopping! It had been awhile since we’d been in a full size grocery, and we’d been looking forward to having more choices than usual! I still bought mac’n cheese though, but this time I got white cheddar and yellow cheddar! We finished and packed up, then started across the parking lot to walk the half mile back to the trail. We barely took two steps before someone asked us if we wanted a ride, and just like that we were back to the AT. We climbed up to the ridge then broke for lunch, and to dry out our tent from the light rain that had fallen that morning. We looked at the forecast and up to an inch or two of rain was predicted the following day. Garrett said it was a shame there wasn’t a town coming up, and I looked ahead to see that Bennington was only 17 miles away! We called the motel in town and they had a room available the next two nights, and could pick us up at the trailhead that evening! And off we were towards Bennington, to escape the deluge the coming day! Along the way we crossed over into Vermont! The rest of the day was hot and humid, and we were very happy to be able to shower that night and sleep in an air conditioned room. Storms rolled in and out the following day, and we enjoyed our day off. I think we needed it more than we realized, while our mileage per day hasn’t changed that much, the terrain is getting more mountainous the further north we hike.

We were back to the trail early the next morning, and hiked through mud and black flies galore- two of the things Vermont is famous for. We made it to the top of Glastonbury Mountain, and climbed he firetower for a view of the Green Mountains. Later that day we passed by a Beaver Bog and camped at Story Spring Shelter with ten other thru-hikers, the most we’ve seen in awhile!
There had been reports of bear activity at the shelter area, but it was late and we were ready to be done hiking for the day. We chose a spot in the shelter, and hung our food where we knew it would be safe. Sure enough, at 3:50am a bear came into camp and started to get the easy to reach food bags. It didn’t come near the shelter, and we weren’t worried, but many of the hikers in tents woke up and tried to scare the bear away. The bear managed to get one food bag, and ripped into it, unconcerned with the hikers yelling at it. They finally managed to scare it away with a well thrown rock, and then decided to just stay awake and eat breakfast loudly by the shelter at 5am. Needless to say, we had an early start to our day! It benefited us in the long run, as we made it to the top of Stratton Mountain, and then hiked the 14 miles to the road where we found a quick ride into Manchester. We needed four days worth of food to make it to Hanover, NH. We bought our groceries, had dinner, and made it back to the woods for a short two mile hike to Bromley Shelter, where we had a well deserved bear free sleep!