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AT 2017: Day 130, Killington to Stony Brook Shelter

Black coffee, freshly ground, fully packed

Hike with Gravity

The Killington Motel looked like a good bet when I decided to stay here. It looked even better when I had breakfast this morning.

It was an all-you-can eat breakfast, which was included in the cost of the room. I didn’t hold back.

I enjoyed blueberry pancakes with Vermont maple syrup, Vermont cheese, coffee cake, fruit, and granola. I also drank several cups of coffee.

Weather Rain for most of the day, with temperatures in the low 60s
Trail Conditions Well-maintained trail over rolling, mostly easy terrain
Today's Miles 6.7 miles
Trip Miles 1,710.8 miles

As I talked to the motel owner, I learned he roasted the coffee there. He also sold one-pound packages of freshly-roasted beans.

That gave me an idea. “Do you ever ship your coffee?” I asked him. He told me he often ships coffee, so I paid him to send a pound to my wife.

There wasn’t a lot I could do for her while I was on the trail, but with her birthday coming up soon, this seemed like a present she would enjoy.

When I left the motel to walk back to the trail, I stopped first at the post office, which happened to be next door. I mailed from there a birthday card to my wife. I used the stamp I was given by the motel owner in Bennington.

A steady rain was falling when I left Killington. I had checked the forecast before leaving the motel, and it looked as though the rain would be with me all day. As I would later learn, the forecast was correct.

Once I was back on the trail, the path was mostly flat. After a couple tenths-of-a-mile the trail followed the shoreline of Kent Pond for another half mile.

Just before the trail left the pond it passed a large, grassy field. This was part of the property for Mountain Meadows Lodge, which specializes in weddings. Hikers have said there are often opportunities to get leftover food from the many wedding receptions held here.

I knew on a rainy Friday morning, there would be no chance for leftovers today, so I kept going.

For the next mile the trail continued on an easy, winding path. Despite the cold rain, it wasn’t a bad walk. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much mud.

After crossing a dirt road, the trail reached Thundering Brook Falls. Walking past the 140-foot cascade, it was easy to hear the rumble resembling thunder, which resonated off the rocky walls of the narrow chasm.

A mill was located at the bottom of the falls.

Right after that, the trail took me over a long boardwalk. This was made to be wheelchair accessible, so it was easy to walk. It was recently rebuilt after being severely damaged in 2011 by flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.

The rain seemed to let up for a few minutes, but that didn’t last long. The conditions were not especially difficult, but the temperature remained cold.

I reached Stony Brook Shelter shortly after 2 p.m. There were already some hikers camped here when I arrived.

After a short debate with myself, I decided they had the right idea, so I set up my tent and got into dry clothes.

Being now warm and dry, I took a short nap. The coffee I drank this morning didn't seem to hinder me in sleeping.

When I awoke I walked the short distance to the shelter to prepare dinner. I did not know any of the hikers there. Among them was a hiker named Jellybean.

Stick arrived at the shelter at 8 p.m. I didn’t envy his long day in the rain, and was satisfied with my short day on the trail.

Black coffee is my name
Black coffee with not a thing
Black coffee, freshly ground, fully packed
Hot black coffee is where it's at


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