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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Gillespie Peak- Getting High with Kevin - Day 196

  After feeding me a huge omelet for breakfast, Kevin took me back to the junction where the trail climbs up to the ridge of the Green Mountains and the Long Trail. He said he would hike with me to my first big goal, 1300 feet higher than where we started. hiker

See where we are on the map app- the blue dot? Gillespie Peak. This is now the highest point on the North Country Trail. 3366 feet. Did I previously tell you that the lowest point on the NCT is the surface of Lake Champlain? I guess technically, the bridge deck would be higher than that, but not many feet at the east side. That's 100 feet above sea level! So three days ago, I was at the low point, and now I'm at the high point. map

Like so many places on the Long Trail, you don't get much of a view, but there is a bit of opening between the trees. view from Gillespie peak

After that, Kevin turned around to return to his car, and I hiked on. Coming down off Gillespie on the south side is much more challenging than the north side. There are a lot of very steep areas with stone steps.

These pictured steps are much more gently inclined, and lead down to Brandon Gap and VT route 73. Just at the top of these steps, there is a spur trail to "The Cliffs," but it's closed March 1 - Aug 1 so the birds are not disturbed. This is a nesting place for peregrine falcons. Maybe someday I'll get there when you can see the cliffs. stone steps

You can see the cliff face from Route 73. I took this picture in 2014. These are the cliffs of Mt. Horrid. Mt Horrid

There hadn't been any water since reaching the Long Trail. I wasn't out, but was beginning to wonder when I'd find a reliable stream. There is apparently no official info on water sources. I found a blog that said you'd cross a stream about every 3 hours, but that depends on how fast you hike, right? There was another hiker who had just walked up from Brandon Gap to exercise her dog. She seemed knowledgeable, as she maintains a section of the trail. She said there was very little water, but there was a stream just across the road.

I filled up there and hiked on. I was planning to go for another hour or so, but when I got past the Sunrise Shelter in about a mile, there was another stream. It was pretty hot, and I decided I'd rather camp near water so I could drink all I wanted in the evening, and fill up the bottles before leaving in the morning.

But I wanted to really get out of sight of the trail. You are supposed to be 150 feet away, but mostly I just didn't want other hikers (there are lots on the Long Trail) to see me. Remember, this is a trail on top of a mountain ridge. Finding a flat place can be a challenge. But I looked off to the right and saw this funny lump that appeared to be the root system of a tree. tree on a hump

I climbed up there, and on the back side was a perfectly level space that was just big enough for my tent! I was completely invisible from the trail. It was early, but I didn't mind eating and settling in with a book to read, having water security for the morning. tent in the woods

Miles today: 7.5. Sucker Brook Trail to Sunrise Shelter. Total miles so far: 2433.2
See Moosalamoo


Sue Teeters said...

Joan, You are amazing, amazing, and AMAZING....YES, TRULY AMAZING!!!! Stay safe and happy trails!!!!

Trudy S said...

I second that