Day 105 – Cooper Lodge Shelter

11.1 miles, 41,733 steps, 433 stories climbed

1703.4/494.6 miles/left, 4,445,780 steps, 38,140 stories climbed


Trail Magic Moments: 48
I should have known better to talk about my good luck with hitch hiking yesterday!  Had a rough start to the day.  I woke up around 7:15am and headed down for the free hotel breakfast.  
Tasteless, runny, fake eggs with some mini donuts and watered down apple juice.  I doused my eggs with salt, pepper and ketchup to make them edible and then headed back to my room to pack.
It was time to leave.  It’s always difficult to leave a nice dry and comfortable room to return to the trail on a rainy day but I had to, so off I went.
  
I headed back in the direction of the trail with my thumb out waiting for a friendly person to pick me up.  I hiked, and hiked, and hiked some more as the rain fell down on me.  I had hiked almost all the way back to the trail before someone was finally nice enough to stop.  In the end I hiked over 5 non-trail miles in the rain.
The man that stopped to pick me up was a member of the Green Mountain Club, which “maintain” most of the trail in Vermont.  He was happy to give me a lift and we talked briefly about the trail.  He dropped me off and I was on my way.
  
I knew it wouldn’t be a long day as far as miles go, with my super late start but today was my rematch with an old adversary of mine, Killington Mt.
Killington was the site where two years ago I did an absolutely insane race which is the most difficult single day thing I’ve ever done…easily.  It was a Spartan Beast race and I had to climb up and down Killington 5 times!  The first time with nothing but my water and snacks.  Second, a code which if forgotten meant extra burpees for me.  Third, a 30lb sandbag.  Fourth, a 60lb sandbag shaped like a log.  Fifth, a huge bucket filled with gravel and I was only allowed to carry it in front of me, not on a shoulder or on my back.  This was over the course of a half marathon filled with numerous other odd and very tiring obstacles i.e. crawling for half a mile under barbed wire in mud, climbing and jumping over walls and through hoops, flipping large tires, dragging boulders, swimming in freezing water and many other crazy things.  
The event took me so long that might had fallen before I had finished and Maria was seriously worried about me but I finished it.  I conquered Killington then and I would do it today as well.
I climbed up the mountain, through the mud and over its slippery rocks.  I forded the rivers and bushwhacked through the poorly maintained trail while getting slapped in the face with branch after branch until I reached the shelter which sits right on top of Killington.
On the way up I had memories of the race of course, but also memories of the weekend Maria and I spent there. We rented a lovely condo with a nice fireplace, big living room and a jacuzzi.  We hiked around the neighborhood, enjoyed a nice, relaxing, hour long couples massage and a few bottles of wine by the fireplace.  We like roughing it in the wilderness but there is certainly something to be said for the occasional comforts of luxury.
Now, I get to relax on the peak of Killington, like a bully sitting on his victim bragging about how he won the day.

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