Tuesday, September 8th (day 27)
Today we made it to Journey's End. That is what they call the north terminus of the Long Trail, ending just across the Canadian border. We expected rain all day long, but instead, the wind brought the rain early, starting around 11pm last night. It rained all night long, until about 5am. We were on the trail just before 7am. It was very wet, muddy, and foggy in the morning. The northern section is known for being very muddy. I have a friend who hiked the trail a month before I started. June and July were very rainy months in Vermont this year. He had emailed me, saying that the last few days on the trail were his worst days hiking, ever, just because of the poor trail conditions. The month I have hiked, we have had very little rain. We have been very blessed with much better trail conditions. I can't imagine how terrible the mud conditions were a month ago. Last nights rain definitely
made today more difficult with mud and slippery rock faces, but still better conditions than I expected. We also had very little bug problems this month. The heat we had was unexpected, as it is usually much colder in Vermont by now. If you know how much of a wimp I am in the cold, you know how thankful I have been for that, even if the heat did make the afternoon climbs difficult. Overall, what an amazing experience. Though I was warned of the difficulty, this trail was much more difficult than expected, making me very proud to finish the journey today. Sometimes, we need to be put in our place, and be reminded of our weaknesses. This trail did this for me every day! It also reminded me of my strengths, perseverance, and yes, my stubbornness. This kind of hiking is not always fun. It can be exhausting and miserable, but the things it does for your soul is amazing. It's so worth it!
There were 4 viewpoints today on our hike, but the clouds and fog made every one a "white out". Until the very end.
After reaching the terminus, we just had a couple miles to walk to get to a parking lot, where Zippy's husband, Rob, came to pick us up. On the way to the road, there is one last shelter, called the Journeys End Camp.
Huge thanks to all who followed me on this journey, and sent me words of support. Zippy, you will be a friend for life. I am happy to have shared this experience with her, and make a new friend. Thank you!