Ahhhh. So happy to get back on the Trail this morning. The double zero was nice but I was anxious to get back into the woods. It was a beautiful cool morning when our shuttle driver Steamboat picked us up. He is an avid trail runner and was excited to run the ski trails near our condo where we were staying. He parked his truck in front of our place early in the morning and went for a long run and then shuttled us back to the Trail promptly at 9:00.
The Trail section we did today was fantastic. We are still deep in Vermont ski country and today we climbed up and over Killington Peak. There was a soft rain all day that just made everything look even more lush and green. I really enjoyed the steady climb up the mountain and rediscovered my Trail legs (and the aches and pains too!).
The transition from town to the Trail is really interesting to me. I first notice how much softer everything looks back on the Trail and I love hearing all of my familiar bird friends greet me. Things start to slow down. Mostly my mind. I take softer steps and as I get deeper into the woods I can start to let go of whatever I was holding. The news over the last few days has been especially disturbing and it took me pretty much all day to feel my shoulders start to relax.
I saw a huge frog and I was surrounded for several hours by tiny white butterflies. They were riding the stiff breeze that was blowing all day and they sure beat the black flies and mosquitoes that we had in southern Vermont. I also saw this odd looking snake/salamander thing that I haven’t been able to identify.
I am also feeling a little pre-nostalgia as we are reaching our last 500 miles. I was thinking a lot about my first 500 miles today and that was the night we spent with the wild ponies at Grayson Highlands. So many awesome experiences that I’ve had on this trip. I know I have a lot more coming but I truly don’t want this to end.
Except for one thing. Well, three actually. Bryan and Chuck. Oh, and LD too. I’m missing my buddies back home bad and can’t wait to be with them. I just wish they could come join me on the Trail and we could spend the day hunting down fun critters.