The forecast is for rain from midnight until 10. 12-6 heavy with thunder. 6-10 light.
It begins about 5am with a distant thunder and the sky opens and pours water down on the mountain. It’s torrential until about 7. Then lightens up, ending about 9:30.
The group starts packing about 8. A little before 10 they head down a 2-mile very steep Frank Post Trail to a trailhead parking lot where busses will take them back to school.
10am. It’s cloudy. Cool. Quiet. We’re sitting on the bed with the front window and door open.
fullsizeoutput_2023This is an amazing camp design. This big front window opens to the view. The only one I’ve seen so far that has this feature. Lovely…

I see a chipmunk sniffing around for crumbs left behind. Sherman is curled up. Not noticing. I nudge him. He looks at me. I point at the chipmunk. He follows by finger and “snap” he sees it. I expect him to jump off he bed and chase after it. But, he sits and watches. He’s shaking slightly from excitement, but is sitting on the bed watching. I get up to close the door. The chipmunk runs out. Then returns under the closed door. Still sniffing around, picking up small bits of dropped food. Eating. Then more sniffing. Sherman is still on the bed. I’m amazed. I tell him it’s ok to get down. He looks at me. I tell him again. OK. Get down. He gets off the bed. The chipmunk runs out. He sniffs all over where the chipper has walked in the Camp and then comes back over to the bed.
I’m stunned. Is this a fluke? Or has something this different developed in the last week? He was trained to wait at the open van door until I said, “OK”. But I didn’t tell hem to stay here. And with a furry critter moving around 4-6 feet away.
fullsizeoutput_2022The rain has obviously ended. The chipmunk has left the premises. Sherman is in charge!
He’s also learned that when I say we’re taking a break, he comes back and lets me put his leash on while we take a break. No struggle. No complaint. After the break, I usually let him off again, but when I don’t he just walks along.
The trail is changing both of us. And changing our relationship.
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I look ahead at my “wild ass guess” of a plan. I don’t know how the plan is going to fit the actuality. The one 8.5 mile day we did between Laura Woodward Shelter and Hazen’s Notch Lodge kicked our butts. And, that was day three. Each day we get stronger and better adjusted to the endeavor we are in. So, the mileage may come easier as we go. And, the trail gets “easier” as we go.
It’s more accurate to say the endeavor I’m in. The endeavor Sherman’s in is being with his human. When I stop, he stops. When I walk, he walks. When I take a day off, he has a day off. I do take queues from him, but he’s still following his human through the world.
During the day 5 hikers came through. A woman solo thru-hiking south. 3rd generation. Her grandfather was one of the first thru-hikers in the early ’30’s. Her mom did it a few decades ago. And now she’s in the early stages of her attempt. A group of 3 guys heading south a few more days. A guy from Montreal thru-hiking south.
I spent the day writing and watching Sherman and the weather.
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About 4 a man solo hiking and heading North stopped. He’s sleeping in his tent. About 5 a solo woman also headed south arrived. 30 min later another. An hour later 2 more women arrived who hiked from the Northern Terminus and are exiting at VT 118 tomorrow. That makes 5 of us in the shelter tonite, versus 13 last night. Spacious!
Tomorrow I go into Eden for my first food resupply and first access to my bounce box. A bounce box is extra or duplicate items that get shipped to a resupply point. If you don’t open it the PO will forward it to another address for free. If opened I pay the postage. So it bounces from resupply to resupply.
Two things I’m looking forward to:
1. My extra pair of socks are both right feet. I wear toe socks so they are not swapable. So one pair in the bounce box has two left feet.
2. My zip off pant leg extensions are both right legs. So the box has two left legs.
fullsizeoutput_1faeLate afternoon I go down to this beautiful stream for water. Thank you earth…
And, then it’s dark. Sherman’s curled up and looking at me. Time to drop.