Vermont Long Trail: Section 3

Section 3: 165.5-Birch Glen to 223.5-Vt Rt 15/Valley of the Lamoille River

If you can do only one section of the Long Trail, do this section. Don’t even consider anything else. If you only have a long weekend, do the first 3 days and hit Burnt Rock, Camel’s Hump and Mansfield. It will kick your ass but it’s totally worth it.

You can also begin to see the impact of the weather on my map in this section. This is the first time I’ve been on a backpacking trip where by the end of the trip the map developed an odor.

Trail Day 13 (July 5): Birch Glen Shelter to Bamforth Ridge Shelter (13.5 m + 1.5 approach)

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Just another example of how crazy the trail is. This felt very Fellowship of the Ring/Old Man Willow.

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I was pretty happy with the weather for Burnt Rock, I don’t think it would have been manageable in the rain the week before. Because the weather was good it was one of my favorite parts of the trail, it’s in between two big day hikes that you have to complete to get to it so it felt like a new discovery for me.
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The “Trail” on the approach to Camel’s Hump, in addition to that ladder there was also just a rope at one point, the moment the mountain started to look a little closer except it turned out to be a false summit, and finally the view from Camel’s Hump. After that I trotted down to Bamforth Ridge Shelter where I was the 8th person in an 8 person shelter and the only girl with 7 guys in the shelter later leading to my trail name…Snow White.

Trail Day 14 (July 6): Bamforth Ridge Shelter to Taylor Lodge (21 m)

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The new trail was certainly creative! I understand these bridges are a staple on the AT but this was the first time I’ve hiked on farmland and gotten to cross electric fences.  The gentlemen hiking in front of me (who gave me my trail name) did test it and discovered that the electric fence was not turned on.
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What an amazing addition to the trail. Footbridges make me feel so safe and taken care of. And they added switchbacks after that! It was like a Christmas present in July.
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Like Camel’s Hump, you can see Mt Mansfield coming from a looooong way off.
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And Green Bean Casserole for dinner. This is around the point where instead of eating half of my two person dinner and saving the other half for lunch I ate the entire thing for dinner.

Trail Day 15 (July 7) Taylor Lodge to Sterling Pond Shelter (12 m)

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Sunrise at Taylor Lodge, one of my favorite shelters on the trail.
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A morning stroll past a beaver pond, which I suspect was the source of the water I’d collected the night before but I was fine so I try not to think about it.

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A little preview of the Mt. Mansfield fun! My pack barely fit.
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Can you see the top of the ladder there? And that’s a 30 foot drop off to the right. I don’t have pictures of the really tough stuff because I was literally rock climbing, hanging off an edge with my pack pulling me back and a cliff behind me. I opted to not take out my phone for a picture but coming up Mt. Mansfield from the South side (which is not the day hike if you’re concerned) is exciting.
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Rethinking my life.
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But it was all worth it for the views!
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So many views! Actually the fog was kind of cool.
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And it did lift. You’ll notice in section 3 I am wearing one knee brace.

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Trail Day 16 (July 8) Sterling Pond Shelter to Vt Rt 15 (11.5 m)

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I’m hoping I can ski all of the slopes I hiked on this winter.
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I pretty much just slid down this and used the trees as a natural brake.
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Is there anything more Vermont than this?

I met my mom for a resupply at Rt. 15, where she brought me THE BEST SANDWICH EVER. I think I’ll write a whole separate post about the time I spent sitting in the parking lot, there were LT finishers, boy scouts, creepy men with steins of beer, lightning, axes, a 10 gallon pot. It was a wild ride. My mom ended up taking me back to the house for a zero day, it was the last day I could see my dad for the summer and then I would head back to Houston, and the Lamoille had flooded out the trail. Plus, surprise surprise….my knee hurt. Join me next time for section 4 when I’ll add another knee brace!

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