It rains again overnight. We arise at 6:30. I intend to be on the trail by 8:00. Well, we start hiking at 9. The mind makes a quick run through being late. Being caught in the rain. It always taking longer to get out of the shelter that I “want” it to…
It’s 1.5 miles to VT 9. One weather report says rain at 10am. Another says rain at 1pm. I’m voting for the later one today.

The trail down is pretty smooth except for the last steep downhill, which is a typical Green Mountain rocky tumble.
fullsizeoutput_24b5 Typical trail today.
fullsizeoutput_24b7The “famous” Split Rock on the downhill to Highway 9.
At the bottom is a river.
fullsizeoutput_24bdAs we walked up I hear the river. Then see the river. Then see these logs over the river and think, “Are we supposed to walk or shimmy our way across these logs? Noooo… can’t be…”
fullsizeoutput_24b9 Then I see the bridge through the trees.
fullsizeoutput_24beThe river in the other direction.
We cross the bridge and go to the parking lot at the trailhead. I no longer have a signal. So, I can’t make any calls about getting a ride to Bennington. So, hitch-hiking it is…
Sherman and I go out to the trailhead apron on the highway to hitch. 30 minutes later a car pulls into the trailhead and asks where we need to go. I tell them we’re going to the laundromat to dry out. They said they’d take us. Turns out they are in VT on vacation from Oklahoma. They come each year for a week. Today they are taking a day hike from this very trailhead. More Angel Wings earned today.
We arrive at the laundromat about 11. Wash and dry clothes. Sherman is a perfect gentleman with everyone. When done I ask the owner for a recommendation for a place we can go to hangout that’s covered while we wait for Bob and Chris to arrive.
Her suggestion in a park about 2 miles away. That’s definitely not convenient. So, we talk a walk into town. The sky is getting darker and as we walk I’m scanning for places to be if it starts raining. There’s a house for sale that’s empty. We could sit on the porch. There’s a business for sale. We could sit under the overhang. There’s a government building for sale. We could sit… no… no good place there. There’s a pizza place. Yes, a nice outdoor patio that’s covered. There’s a cafe with round tables out front with big umbrella’s by them. Then, it starts to sprinkle. I stop and look back the way we came. OK. It’s gonna be pizza for lunch!
We return to the pizza place. I walk in with Sherman and ask if we can sit on the patio. She says, “Yes. Of course!” So out we go. I’m taking off my pack when a man at another table starts asking about our hike. About how Sherman’s doing. Sharing about his getting stuck in a torrential rain in the New York Adirondacks on his bike. He offers to wait with Sherman while I go in and order. I order and come back out. It’s now pouring. Sherman is sitting watching the rain splash on the driveway.
Pizza comes. I eat the whole thing! I get Sherman’s lunch together and he eats. I offer pizza crust. He says no. I get out my keyboard and start catching up on my trail journaling while eating.
At 3, Bob and Chris pull in. Sherman had gotten excited a couple minutes before they arrived. Did he hear the car? Did he sense something else? When he sees the car he’s happy, happy, happy. All wiggly and waggly.
We get the gear and us in the van and drive back to Bristol. Bob and Chris has been such support for the hike. It would have been a VERY different experience without their support. They have earned the biggest Trail Angel Wings…
It rains hard all the way back and into the night. Sherman and I are very tired and sleep without waking all night. A feat that is rare on the trail.