Vermont, part 2: days 95-98

Day 95: Bromley Shelter to Greenwall Shelter, 22.6 miles
Day 96: Greenwall Shelter to Cooper Lodge, 19.2 miles
Day 97: Cooper Lodge to VT 100, 9.6 miles
Day 98: VT 100 to Thundering Brook Road, 0.6 miles
Total AT miles hiked: 1706

We started a day finishing our way to the top of Bromley mountain, the last tenth of a mile is up a ski slope. The day was partly sunny and beautiful, and we made our way to the top of Peru Peak, and then Baker Peak. All of the peaks tired us out more than we expected, so we stopped early for dinner at Little Rock Pond Shelter. I was hoping to stay there, as the shelter is spacious and in a nice location, but dinner put a bit more pep in my step and we pushed five miles further to Greenwall Shelter. 15 years ago I hiked the AT from Mount Graylock, through Vermont, all the way to Moint Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. While I’ve spent a lot of time in the Whites since then, for the most part on this hike it’s the first time I’ve returned to Vermont.  

The next day we hiked to the top of Killington Mountain. I was excited to camp on the top in Cooper Lodge because I remembered the shelter from last time I passed through. Unfortunately, the shelter hasn’t weathered time well. The bunks are all askew, some have holes, and the roof leaked. We thought about hiking on, but then a thunderstorm rolled in, so decrepit shelter it was! It kept us dry until about 430am, when we awoke to rain splashing on our face. Garrett grumbled and got out of bed, but I managed to find a dry spot to steal a bit more sleep. 

It was all downhill the next morning, and cold, so it was hard to get moving fast down the slippery slope. By the time we arrived at the road, it was lunch time, and we were very tempted to visit the deli a little over half a mile away. We got a quick hitch, which made our decision even easier, and soon we were enjoying delicious sandwiches and soda. I’ve been feeling run down lately, and we’ve both been unusually achy, so when we noticed the motel next door it was easy to talk ourselves into taking a half day. We ate ice cream, and watched a Friends marathon on TV- and for one afternoon it seemed better than hiking. 

After breakfast the next morning, we walked back to the trail. On the way, the hip I’d previously broken was clicking strangely. It’s been causing me increasingly more pain, but never quite this much. We walked six tenths of a mile on the trail to the next road, and decided perhaps we shouldn’t walk into the woods after all. There was a medical center in the next town over, and when we called the motel we’d just stayed in to see how they suggested getting there, the owner Steven offered to come pick us up and drive us himself.

And that is how we found ourselves at the Rutland ER on a Sunday morning. Fortunately my X-Ray came back okay, and the doctor suggested that I may just have some torn cartilage in my hip. He told me it was up to me to hike as I like, but that rest and anti-inflammatories would help. They also checked me for tick-born diseases since I’ve been bit a couple times on the trail, and fortunately those tests all came back negative. All of that was a relief, and we decided to take the rest of the day off to give my hip some more time off. I’m glad we went to the ER to ease my mind of worrying that it was something worse, and felt ready to hit the trail the next day. We’ll just take it slower if we need to!