Sherman sleeps between my feet for awhile. Then comes asking for quilt. I bring him under. In a while he’s overheated and crawls out. Then he curls up by my leg. Then he’s back to asking to come under.
There’s not an abundance of room for us on the sleeping pad under the quilt. If things are not balanced just right, a tiny opening where the quilt doesn’t quite touch the floor or the pad let a small stream of cold air in. In 10 minutes this creates a cold spot on the body. Then it’s time to adjust everything to try to close the blow-hole.
Somewhere in the middle of the middle of the night I make a discovery. Sherman is fully under the quilt. My face is cold out of the quilt. So, I pull knees up a bit which allows me to pull the whole quilt up a bit, and pull the quilt up fully covering my head and the pillow. It’s like a little down tent. We are both completely toasty and can move about a little bit without loosing the contact between quilt and floor.
After a while my hips or knees begin to hurt and I need to turn over. So, I scoop Sherman up, turn over, reposition him and adjust our little quilt tent. In a minutes it’s toasty again and we go back to sleep.
This is a VERY magical discovery.

Neither of us is cold all night. In the morning the whole earth is covered with a thin frost. It’s clearly in the upper-mid-20’s. I’m awake from 5:30 and DO NOT want to get up yet. I lay in bed just being warm and relaxed until the sun begins to lighten things around 6:30. I sit up and 2 others sit up. Sherman pops out and goes to give Grasshopper a good morning licking. They are both giggling softly.
We’re on the trail at 8:45. Our target is VT 30 and a ride to a motel in Manchester Center by mid-afternoon. It’s 9.9 miles to the road.
I notice the difference that it makes to plants to be protected from frost and wind by trees. Here are the same type of plants…
fullsizeoutput_240cUnder the forest canopy, and…
fullsizeoutput_2407Exposed to the sky. You can see a few brown leaves left here.
The trail going up to Peru Peak.
fullsizeoutput_2409And the view from Peru Peak.
On Peru Peak I call a motel I’d talked to a few days ago. No answer. I left a message. 30 minutes later, on Styles Peak I try again. No answer. I’ve had this happen before in Vermont. Small businesses that don’t answer the phone or call back. It’s an odd way of doing business to someone used to California’s always available technology environs.
An hour later on Bromley Peak they answer the phone. I discover they don’t allow dogs in their rooms. When I talked to him 3 days ago to verify they allowed dogs, I was told, “No problem.” OK. I hang up and think, “Shit. You could’ve told me that 3 days ago when I asked you about reservations, trail shuttles and dogs…?!”
So, I’m calling the other motels, B&Bs and Inns in the End-to-Ender’s Guide. I wind up with a reservation at Chalet Motel. No shuttle. It’s 5 miles to town. How am I going to get there? They give me the local taxi phone number. I call. No answer and no voice mail setup. How do you run a business like that? My bias is showing… I wonder if Uber is active in this area. I download the app take a look. There’s ONE vehicle on the road available in the 10 mile areas surrounding Manchester. OK. Maybe I’ll Uber it.
fullsizeoutput_2410 From Bromley Peak looking toward NY.
fullsizeoutput_2415And looking back… this ridge is where Sherman and I have walked. These are amazing moments. It’s a “How is this possible?” moment. These 6 feet (4 small and 2 large) have moved these bodies from as far as we can see to where we currently are standing. Wondrous. And humbling…
From Bromley Peak to the trailhead at VT11/30 is 3 miles. About 90 minutes downhill. The trail near Bromley Peak — both the up and down — are reminiscent of the northern part of the trail. No scrambling, but steep rocks and tree roots. The last hour is easy downhill with one exception. There are now so many leaves on the ground in some sections that the smaller rocks and sticks are hidden. Walking is now a continual adjusting to small slips, trips and toe bumps.
fullsizeoutput_240eI’ve mentioned the type of rock called “schist” before. Here’s a large block of it above ground. You can see the layering. In fact, the uppermost layer has come loose and rotated.
At the parking lot I open up Uber and there’s no one on the road. I’m walking toward the road. I ask a couple that we followed down the mountain if they’re going toward Manchester? No. They’re going the other way. A couple about my age asks about Sherman and his pack. We talk about the hike and where we’re headed. They say they’re going the other way to Stratton, where they live.
I start asking other people in the parking lot for a ride. No. No. No. No. No. No.No. No. This is good training for me in not being stopped by rejection! No. No. No. I check Uber again. The driver is in Manchester area. I start the process of requesting a pickup. Just as I push the button, my connection degrades from 4G to Edge. While I’m turning Airplane Mode on and back off the couple I talked to for awhile come over any say they can give us a ride if Sherman is a good lap rider. They have their dog in the back seat. She’ll ride with the dog and Sherman and I can ride in the front. Yes. Perfect. Thank you!! As I put our packs in their trunk, Sherman gets all happy about getting into the car. We get in the from seat and lick, lick. Wag, wag. Smile, smile. They drive us the 4 miles to the motel. More Trail Angels earning their wings. Connection and gratitude well up in Sherman and me.
fullsizeoutput_241aHome for the next two night. The pool is closed… 🙁
I check us in. We go to the room. Pretty big motel room. Nice. I unpack. Sherman heads directly for teh bed and has a nap. The heat doesn’t work. I call the frond desk. She doesn’t know why. I call back. She’s talked to the owner. It has to be turned from summer to winter settings globally for the motel. Whew. An easy fix. I order a large Mediterranean Pizza and eat half. The other half is lunch tomorrow.
I update my journals in preparation for a blog update tomorrow. Can’t get PO boxes until Monday at 8:30. No shuttle at motel. So I’ll probably Uber it.