In 2011 hurricane Irene pounded the east coast and Vermont was really hard hit. Sections of the trail were washed away. Most of the areas have been fixed, but there was about a 2 mile stretch where the trail was still closed. As a thru-hiker it is hard to reconcile taking a detour when you are trying to do the whole trail. This particular detour had about 3 miles of road walking. After walking in the woods it is really hard to walk on the road, especially if there is a lot of traffic. Most of the thru-hikers I know decided to take their chances on the trail. I felt sneaky as I passed the ‘trail closed’ sign, but I knew I would be able to see the blazes on the trees so I would be able to find my way. I had heard that hikers had made it through safely as well.
As I was hiking I got my pole stuck in the mud and lost the tip and basket. Great! Maybe I wasn’t supposed to take this trail. I moved on anyway and Spring (a German female hiker) fashioned me a walking stick. There were a couple of places where the trail was totally washed out and one road crossing had a bridge that had been washed away. It just meant we had to cross a stream, and I didn’t even get my shoes wet. Someone had put a ladder there for us to cross. It was a very pretty area and I am glad I didn’t miss it. As for my pole I will get a replacement from Alison.
In this section of closed trail was a sign that said Katahdin 500 miles. I would have missed this had I taken the
road. It is hard to believe that I have only 500 (all of 500!) left. I have 2.5 more days in Vermont and then I will be on to New Hampshire. (by the time you read this I will be in NH for a few days, that’s the problem with not having internet access every day!)