Big footsteps passed by the cabin in the night. Sherman sat up rigid. He didn’t bark. I thought it was a moose. Wilson thought it was a bear. Sounded like hard feet hitting the ground rather than soft ones to me. But I have no correlating experience at all.
fullsizeoutput_1fa0Spruce Ledge Camp
There are 3 mountains in our future today. Up, up, up the first one. Then the others are small dips and rises to their peaks. The mind still wants to make up that this section will be easier. It’s not. It’s different. But not easier.

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fullsizeoutput_204bI love these old trees with their old snaking roots. Some of the roots are a big as the tree’s trunk.
The trail coincided with an old road for a quarter mile. Sherman picked up a scent and went into noseland. I did what works. Whistle and say we’re going the other way. He ran back still scenting. I caught him as he went by and leashes him. It took about 30 min for him to return from scentland. His whole being changes into another dog. His metabolism is on high. Adrenaline pumping.
I keep him on the leash until after our next big break. While there we see 2 squirrels chasing each other around tree trunks. First squirrels we’ve seen in VT.
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Yes. Break time. See how our packs are color coordinated?
Steep mountain climbs. Up and up and up. So hard. And these aren’t even the big ones coming in a few days. And then a level zone…
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fullsizeoutput_201bI love how trees sproutĀ on rocks and then create a whole mini ecosystem.
We only see one hiker all day right before we reach Corless. Jim. A recently retired teacher/principle, also headed to Corless.
Sherman has learned moreĀ about navigating bogs. He was not muddy all day. Until the last one a quarter mile from the Camp. This was a big bog with 4x8s placed on supports so one can traverse it dry. There’s a step between boards of a foot max. First 3 boards– all good. The last one is not any further apart. But it goes up a foot. I am about three feet behind and I see him looking back and forth and and see choose. I’m saying, “NO SHERMAN! NO! NO! Oh Fuck…” He’s instantly up to his belly in big. He’s trying to move but the muck is deeper than his legs. He has no purchase. His belly and pack are keeping him from going deeper. I grab his handle and pull him out placing him on the higher board. He walks to the end, does a whole body shake — which doesn’t dislodge the muck — and walks on with no thinking about what just happened. It happened. It’s done.
When I get to Corless, I discover Wilson resting on the bunk. He’d had a rough day and stopped early. Jim is there also setting up his tent.
We get settled in. Eat dinner and chat at the picnic table. There are NO roads up here, and there are no pack animals allowed or used on the trail. Every stick of wood in every shelter, every walkway over a bog, picnic table, outhouse/privy, was hand carried up here by humans. Pyramids, anyone?