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Day 66 – Top of Vermont

Another morning of weather so cold it hurts to move. It is hard to put in perspective but imagine a morning so cold that after getting the paper you need to warm up before continuing your day. Then imagine sleeping outside in that weather. This is the battle every day for me in these mountains of New England. It validates the adventure but also presents a new challenge essential to overcome every single day. After finally finding a way to get my feet in shoes so rock hard from being frozen solid I pressed on, still with speedstick. As we dropped to first of many unbridged creek crossings I scouted out the bank for a good route. I found a log across and made the daunting tightrope walk across to the other side. Speedstick was not so successful. About half way across the slippery log won and she tumbled barely able to hold onto the log while hanging upside down beneath it. I left the comfort of dry shoes, socks, and semi warm feet behind and waded in to help her out. In short we made it across and her gear and pack stayed dry. My feet and shoes were a different story and didn’t dry or warm up all day. The day consisted of climbing and descending until the ultimate climb up Killington peak began. It wasn’t overly steep but was relentless. At the top there was a 1/4 mile trail to the true peak that I knew I had to take. It was an ice wall. I pulled myself up with the Pygmy pine tree trunks and eventually made the top with no thanks to my continually slipping feet. Thank goodness my traction/Stabilicers will be at the post office tomorrow. After the incredible views at the top the decent began. All the way down to the road into Killington. I walked the road and was happy to hear that a friend of speedstick had put us up in a hotel for the night. What an amazing act of kindness! I got a much needed shower and will be back to hit the trail tomorrow.

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