By the time I arrived at Stratton Pond Shelter the rain had stopped. I was greeted by Chris, a caretaker employed during the summer by the Green Mountain Club. He was responsible for the shelter and a hiker campground on the north shore of the pond.
To help defray costs and keep the area from being overcrowded, Chris collected a five dollar camping fee.
Tenting was not allowed at the shelter, so if we wanted to camp in our tents we would have had to continue down the trail to the pond and then follow a side trail to the campsite. With the recent rain and more likely to come, we decided to sleep in the shelter. For Becky and Stick, this was their first night in a shelter.
While I was heating water for my mashed potatoes and pepperoni dinner, I looked on as Becky was trying to light her stove. Suddenly, it burst into a fire ball. Stick tried to blow out the fire and singed his beard.
I couldn’t help myself. Impulsively, I shouted, “Opa!”
I’m glad to say no one was hurt. After a second try, Becky was able to light her stove and cook dinner. Stick’s beard was only slightly shorter than before.
The shelter was a tall, two-story structure. Once dinner was done and our bear bags hung, we climbed to the loft and stretched out our sleeping pads and sleeping bags. It was dry and not too chilly up there, but got a little noisy when rain started falling again, hitting the shelter’s metal roof.