18 Oct Day 7 – It was a cold night
It was a cold night camping at Cooper Lodge. The cold wind blew all night long under the edges of the tarp and through the front opening. At first I could feel myself warming during pauses of the breeze, but eventually my body couldn’t keep up with the repeated blasts of cold air and I slept on the cold side of the edge of comfort.
Here is the tarp setup where I suffered through cold winds all night long on Killington.
We had 14.1 miles to make Minerva Hinchey Shelter. Still cold, I began hiking with most of my clothing on my back rather than in the backpack. The long descent from the 4000 foot point where we camped was a treacherous collection of rocks and roots set into a steep path with high knee straining steps. As soon as the trail crossed a wind sheltered spot with warm sunshine, I shed the rain pants and extra clothing.
Eventually we were rewarded with long stretches of the easiest trail you will find on the AT.
We hit a spot near Clarendon gorge where the trail dropped through a small chasm like feature of high rock walls. Beautiful but hard to photograph.
A little further on here is a Swinging Bridge over Clarendon Gorge. It really moved and it was a little scary to look over the side to rocks and river below.
We Met a family, Mom, Dad, 6 year old girl, and 12 year old boy camping at shelter with us tonight. They are thru-hiking AT. There trails name is Fam. They started in Maine, now in Vermont. Have hiked 510 miles and 1600 to go. Will be hiking through winter.
Thankfully tonight is warmer, but I have taken the precaution of having the edges of my tarp pinned against the ground to keep out wind. Here is my tarp set up at Minerva Hinchey with leaves covering gaps on the sides. This is where we met Top Peak, a thru hiker finishing up after a flip.