I got up early with Low Profile and NoKey to make coffee and breakfast before our hike out of town. Last night the three of us pooled money to make steaks, baked potatoes, asparagus, and salad for dinner. We also bought breakfast sausage and nectarines for the morning. Green Mountain House supplied coffee, eggs, and cereal for a huge and delicious breakfast. We said goodbye to Low Profile and NoKey, Stretch, and myself headed out to the trail at 8 am.
We immediately began our climb up Bromley, which was nice and gentle nearly all the way up. Wen we were about a quarter mile from the top our trailed joined a ski slope so it got incredibly steep! We were treated to an amazing view up top and Stretch caught up to us at this point. We hiked together down to Mad Tom Notch, passing a few day hikers. From here, we climbed up to Styles Peak for another view looking east and then the trail dipped down and back up to Peru Peak. We headed down to the Peru Peak shelter for lunch and met Steam, another Long Trail NoBo.
From the shelter, we walked past Griffith Lake and had mostly level walking until we hit a sign that said "Baker Peak 0.1." This 0.1 is a straight up rock climb! We were thankful it was overcast because in 2012 we did this climb in the late afternoon sun! We had beautiful views at the top and then made our way downhill toward Lost Pond shelter. When we got here a SoBo told us there was beer at the road, which was about 3 miles away. We had planned on taking a break here, but we decided to try and catch the trail magic ahead. We walked downhill some more and passed Bernardo, another Long Trail NoBo, and kept walking to Big Branch shelter. NoKey left me to filter water while he ran to the road for the magic. I carried five liters of water uphill to the road crossing and met him about half an hour later to find no magic was anywhere.
We took a break for a while as we had been planning to do that earlier until we chased down the empty trail magic. Our original plan was to stealth camp tonight because Little Rock Pond shelter is a pay per person site. We took a long break and decided to head up to the shelter anyway. We made it about 0.1 from the shelter and saw a pretty nice tent site and decided to set up camp. We already had plenty of water so we were good for the night. The temperature was a little cooler than we expected so it will make for great sleeping weather!