We got a fairly early start @ 0800 from Lincoln Gap under cool skies and a bit of mist. Actually, most agreed it was just the perfect temperature to hike. We noted Ben Rose and Anya had checked in at the register on Thursday night @ 2010 heading for Batelle to spend the night. Since they were heading on up to Birch Glen for Friday night, it looked as though we would miss them. Nice climb to the top of Abe where we regrouped. Limited visibility, with small patches of blue sky above. It was nice to have several new hikers to a Burlington Section hike: John, Rose and Carol.

We checked out the wreckage of the Cessna near Abe and proceeded North. Stopped at the Castlerock ski patrol hut for a snackbreak on the deck and now we were seeing some clearer skies and direct sun. Carol told us a fascinating, true story of someone who had a python as a pet. The owner observed the snake wasn’t eating for a long period of time and became increasingly concerned. It would sometimes curl up and coil itself at the foot of the bed. She asked her veterinarian what the problem might be. Given that the snake was coiling up on her bed, the vet said “get rid of it immediately; it’s sizing you up”!!!! Yikes. just 1 of the conversations that can come up while hiking on the Long Trail. We topped out at the ski lift on Mt. Ellen around noon and with a few showers, we ate lunch and continued on.

Two Sugarbush lift mechanics were working on replacing some of the wheels on the lift towers and their weather report was of no thunderstorms for the rest of the day. We were certainly glad to hear that!! Our next stop was at Stark’s Nest for a snack, then on down to App Gap. The lift guy was 100% correct as the rest of the hike was dry……can you believe that for this season? Dick Petit mentioned it takes about 8 hrs to complete the hike and we actually finished right on time. It was a leisurely pace with lots of very interesting and varied conversations occurring simultaneously. I can’t remember a time when we’ve had such an entertaining bunch of hikers. Great hike, weather held (but around 1930, we had a steady downpour for about 1/2 hr on my way back to Burlington, via Jericho to drop off John). PERFECT timing!!

Participants – Kelley Mackison and faithful dog “Trigger”, John Lamb, Phil Howard, Ed Blackwell, Wendy Savoie and “Trevor” – standing in for “Maggie the Wonder Dog”, Louanne Nielson, Richard Petit, Carol Caroscio (aka Alice), Rose Dauerer, Pete Saile (trip leader)