July 7: Day 4. Story Spring Shelter to Stratton Pond Shelter, 10.4 miles

Stratton Pond. 

DF: Today we conquered Stratton Mountain! I’d been worried about it based on the elevation profile, but it wasn’t as bad as we’d feared. We pushed yesterday so we’d have a shorter day today and be off the mountain before the predicted afternoon thunderstorms.

At the top of the mountain we met Jeanne. She and her husband, Hugh, live there as caretakers during the summer in a tiny little white cabin just below the top of the mountain (they’ve been the summer caretakers at Stratton for more than thirty years!). There’s also a tower, much like one on Glastenbury, but this one has windows. I managed a little more than halfway, then I just needed to come back down. Ken went all the way to the top. It was chilly and very windy, but there was a gorgeous view.

A thunderstorm hit when we were about halfway down the mountain. It lasted less than half an hour, but it was long enough to get soaked.

We arrived at the Stratton Pond Shelter mid afternoon just as the rain let up. We were the first people here, but more are rolling in. It’s a big shelter, but it’ll be pretty busy tonight. Looking forward to a relaxed evening drying things out.

The shelter is about a quarter mile from Stratton Pond, which is gorgeous. There are tent sites nearby, but with more rain expected tonight, we’re staying under a roof.

BC: Five hours to the top of Stratton was pretty good time. We met the caretaker, Jeanne, and had lunch. She spends May 15-Oct 15 living in a small cabin on top of the mountain. Climbed the fire tower for some great views and photos. Got heavy rain and t-storms halfway down the descent, and arrived at Stratton Pond Shelter by 3pm. It’s a large shelter that sleeps 16, and it’s really nice. Got a double bottom bunk in the back, and hung out with all the AT thru-hikers as they came in over the course of the evening. Met Calamity, Mobius, Pilot and Navigator, and many others. Thirteen hikers in the shelter overnight.

Saw a redstart and a chestnut sided warbler at our rest stop before the climb, and heard a barred owl overnight.

BC climbing down the fire tower.

BC climbing the tower. 
The Stratton caretaker and her cabin.
DF and the caretaker.
Looking down the stairs from the top of the tower.
A view of the caretaker’s cabin on the summit from the top of the tower.
DF at an overlook on the way up Stratton.
Something is a little off center at this privy.
Crossing a large stream in the woods.
We had a terrific campsite behind the Story Spring shelter.