September 17 - [9.5 Miles/182.3 Total] Sherburne Pass to Governor Clement Shelter. Between goodbyes, food sorting, and a really horrible Burt Reynolds movie it was 9:45 when I left the hotel and 10:00 before I reached the trailhead. The plan was to hike 15 miles a day for the rest of the hike to complete the trail in the time I had left. On the way up Killington I ran into another hiker going down. He told me that on the top of the mountain was a side trail leading to the summit and a restaurant. So I was forced at that point to make a decision between a 15 mile day or a side trip to the summit for a good lunch. Being a hiker I of course chose lunch which was expensive but pretty good. I had beef stew in a bread bowl, a chicken sandwich, and onion rings. After several hours on the summit I hit the trail again to finish my 9.5 miles day.

September 18 - [19.4 Miles/201.7 Total] Governor Clement Shelter to Lula Tye Shelter. This was a sunny, cool, partly cloudy and uneventful day. Although I passed maney hikers I ended up alone at the shelter that evening.
Flat Trail
I was so excited to find long flat trail after all the difficult trail I traveled in the past few weeks that I took a photo. All I know about this picture is it is somewhere between Governor Clement and Lulu Tye shelters.

September 19 - [16.5 Miles/218.2 Total] Lula Tye Shelter to Bromley Ski Patrol Hut. This was yet another fairly uneventful day. That afternoon I was warned by several northbound hikers that the water hand pump in Mad Tom Notch just below Bromley did not work. Since it was to be my evening water source I was a little worried. Once I got there though it worked just fine. I am guessing it was just a case of hikers not knowing how to use a hand pump. You have to pump hard and fast to get it started before you get anything out. Maney hikers will walk up to a pump like that and pump very slowly a couple of times and wonder why there is no water. On the way up Bromley I spotted the trail to the old Mad Tom Shelter. I followed what was left of the trail to see what remained of the shelter. The pinic table was still in tact but the shelter had fallen of its pillars and the walls and roof were down. Too bad really, that still is a great location for a shelter. In any case I continued the mile on so to the summit of Bromley and the ski patrol hut. In the hut that evening I finally felt certain that I would complete the whole trail.
Bromley Ski Patrol Hut
This is the Bromley skit patrol hut on the summit of Bromley mountain. The ski area allows hikers to spend the night here. I can't thank the ski folk enough for their kindness. I stayed warm and dry as it rained hard and heavy outside that night.

September 20 - [16.4 Miles/234.6 Total] Bromley Ski Patrol Hut to Stratton Ski Patrol Hut. The day started out wet and foggy but the fog burned of to yeild to a warm, sunny day. I passed several hikers along the way including a slack-packing north-bound AT hiker named Gambler who really needed to pick up some quick miles to have a chance of finishing. I also met an English guy who was working on a section of the AT. He and a friend started at Springer Mt, Ga in 1994 and had flown over every year to pick up another section. Now that's dedication! The Stratton Ski Patrol hut was even better than Bromley. There was electricity, running water, flush toilets, heat, a microwave, and a TV!! This was a better setup than maney hiker hostels I've stayed at! This was also the first night was not alone since Sherburn Pass. With we that evening was a section hiker named Alex.
View From Spruce Peak
This was only an hour or so after I left the wet, foggy summit of Bromley. It often amazed me how quickly the sky could clear.
Stratton Pond
I passed this beautiful pond in the late afternoon shortly before the climb to the summit of Stratton mountain. This is the largest body of water on the Long Trail.

September 21 - [16.3 Miles/250.9 Total] Stratton Ski Patrol Hut to Goddard Shelter. As I watched the sunrise from the Ski Patrol hut a giant black cloud blew in from behind. Shortly afterward there was wind, rain, thunder, & lightning. It rained on and off the rest of the day as the temperature droped. That night was miserable, cold and windy. The wind blew right up through the florboards and was strong enough to shake the shelter at time. I woke up shivering several time the night in my 20 degree sleeping bag. I ended up taking my tent out and using it as a blanket to keep warm. That was one night I was happy to see end! I did have company that night, two AT section hikers named Frenchy and Bear.

September 22 - [14.4 Miles/165.3 Total] Goddard Shelter to Congdon Shelter This turned into a beuatiful, leasurely, day. Here is an excerpt from my journal:

"Today's miles went quick. I had nine done by lunchtime so I had the rest of the day to play with. [...] I stoped by a creek for about twenty minutes and just enjoyed being there. I had been told by a man on the [VT 9] climb about Harmon Hill. This is a sumit meadow kept clear by regular conrolled burns. When I got there I found a perfect patch of grass and the sun was out; I could not resist. I layed down in that grass, basking in the sun for an hour and a half. [...] I arrived [at the shelter] around 4:50 even after all those breaks. What a great day of hiking! I was thinking today with the rush to get the miles done, to finish, I forgot to enjoy being out here. Some of the best times occurs not while hiking but while sitting quietly with the world before me and not a care in the world. [...] I will miss the trail but I am ready to go home."

September 23 - [10.0 Miles/175.3 Total] Congdon Shelter to the Massachusetts Border.
The End of the Long Trail!!!
Well this is it, the end of the trail. This trail's end was a little different than what I have experienced at the end of past trails. On this note I'll defer to my journal.

The last miles went quickly as the anticipation drove me ever faster. [...] As I approached the end I could make out signs and a video camera. I guy who was just starting a thru happen to be carrying a video camera and tripod and he recorded my appraoch. I arrived at the first sign and I touched it as I read the front. The two other people there were two younger (20s?) attractive women. One of them asked if I was completeing a thru. I told her yes and they both started cheering. One high fived me and the other gave me a big hug. [...] Its not too often you have cameras and [cheering] women waiting for you at the end of the trail!

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Last Updated on November 10, 2000