Three of us met at the Cambridge Park & Ride at 8:30 and drove to the VT 15 Long Trail crossing, where we met the last two, then took a single car to the top of VT 108. It was pleasantly cool and cloudy as we started the Sterling Pond Trail up at 9:20, and the trail was a little wet from recent rains.
We reached Sterling Pond around 10:00, where another hiker took a group picture for us, then continued past Sterling Pond Shelter to reach the Madonna summit around 11. We met a north bound LT through hiker there who never hiked more than 3 miles in a day before starting his through hike, but who had come all the way from Massachusetts in the past month. The foliage view from the top was nice, though a bit muted under the cloudy skies. We saw some gentians, which brought to mind the poem September, by Helen Hunt Jackson, whose first eight lines my wife memorized in 3rd grade, and has been reciting to me every September I’ve known her.
The rain started (as forecast) as we reached Whiteface shelter around 12:20, and we rested there for about 20 minutes and had lunch there with a young woman south bound LT through hiker. The rain subsided and we did our last steep climb up Whiteface, meeting a couple more SOBO LT through hikers there. We continued down to reach Bear Hollow Shelter around 2:30, and the cars at the VT 15 LT crossing around 4:30.
Participants: Mark McLane, Dale Schmit, Nick Krembs, Rick Biddle, David Hathaway (leader).