After months of planning and getting motivated with lots of inspiration ( http://amzn.com/1460999428 & http://amzn.com/B0062VL4QA ), I set out on my attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT) through VT.
I had all new hand-selected gear ( http://www.spitze.us/posts/emstrail35pack & http://www.spitze.us/posts/techwickandsmartwool ) and my spirits were high. Unfortunately, my body was weak and I was forced to turn back with a knee injury after only one day out.
Regardless, it was an amazing and lesson-filled experience and I was able to capture some great photos.
Please enjoy! (Click each photo for a larger view.)
I started with 4-5 days of food and planned on one stop in a town to restock. I was doing this trip "dry" without a camp stove.
This is me at the RT 9 trailhead, minutes before leaving.
Here I am crossing the foot bridge from the trailhead to the actual trail.
Within about 200 feet, you start climbing.
And continue up, up, up!
Here, the trail passes through a huge split granite boulder.
A self-portrait with the split boulder.
Even though the fall foliage was past its peak, there were still some great color palettes in the forest.
At 1.4 miles in, here is the first trail marker and small stream crossing.
Another couple of tenths of a mile later, this power line cut gives a view of Bennington, VT in the valley.
Entering Glastenbury Wilderness.
My second (and slightly larger) stream crossing.
And finally, the big one.
I was very glad to see the bridge has survived the previous day's downpours and runoff.
Some lovely foot bridges to help protect the marshland against erosion.
Some wildlife - sadly not the moose I was hoping to spot.
These fungi were very slimy looking, different from the normal dry variety you see affixed to trees.
A nice shot of the trail, featuring what I guess to be some of the oldest trees in the area.
One of the trailside overlooks.
Another wildlife shot, also not a moose.
And finally, Goddard Shelter, where I rested my knee with 6 other hikers and made the decision to cut my trip short and retrace my steps. While I was sad to turn back, I knew it was best and I'll always appreciate my time and the lessons I learned on the AT.
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