DF: We ended our town stay last night with pizza and Greek salad at Christo’s Pizza. While we were waiting to place our order, in walked Jeanne, the Stratton Mountain caretaker, with her husband (Hugh) and two other people! We had a nice talk with them over dinner, then headed back to our room to pack up.
We headed out this morning at 6:45, and walked to The Works for a breakfast bagel. And ran into Jeanne and Hugh again! We’ve decided that it’s inevitable that we’ll run into them again somewhere up the trail.
Our breakfast was great, plus we got a bagel for snack and a sandwich for lunch. We walked down towards the donut shop and laundromat to try to catch a ride. The first person we saw walking out of the donut shop offered us a ride.
As we were getting out of the car, another car pulled up with Calamity and A-Train, two hikers we met at the Stratton Pond Shelter. We all headed out at 8 AM, but they immediately pulled away.
We started with a fairly easy climb up Bromley Mountain. Things got interesting when we broke out into the open and realized that we were on a ski slope. After a nice climb to the top we realized that we’d been on an “easier” run. The top of the mountain was really cool–the ski patrol hut, the lift station, and the site of the once and future Bromley Tower. It was taken down a few years ago and the GMC is raising money to build a new one.
Next, we descended to Mad Tom Notch and a Forest Service road. We stopped to enjoy our sandwiches from town–they were wonderful! As we were packing up, an old pickup passed us, waved, then stopped and backed up. In it were two older local guys who wanted to talk to us about hiking. While we were talking to them, three other hikers we’d met at Stratton walked up: Pilot and Navigator, and Phys Ed. Once again, they took off and left us in the dust.
We climbed up to Styles Peak, where we met Pilot, Navigator, and Phys Ed enjoying lunch with a view. As we continued across the ridgeline to Peru Peak, we walked through conifer forest with lots of moss on the rocks.
We arrived at the Peru Peak shelter around 3:30, and decided to push on another 4 ½ miles to the next shelter. On the way, we passed another lake, then climbed Baker Peak, which ended in a very steep rock scramble and a 360 degree view.
We arrived at the shelter to find most of the folks I’ve mentioned already tented, along with a group of middle school boys from summer camp. They were full of energy, but settled down quickly when it got dark.
It’s a small, fairly new shelter facing a pretty creek. With all the recent rain, there’s lots of water flowing. It’s a steep climb down to the creek, but it was worth it to get cleaned up after more than 14 miles today.
BC: Had a great breakfast at The Works (formerly the Bagel Works.) Got a big sandwich to go for our trail lunch (should have gotten two.) Easy hitch back to the trail this morning, then a fairly well graded climb up Bromley. Awesome view from the open ski area at the top – we could see in all directions and the weather was stunning. Long day on the trail with some steep climbs and good views. Lots of hikers at this shelter, including a bunch of middle school kids from a summer camp who were a lot of fun.