We slept in a little later due to not being in the shelter. We left camp around 8 am and began our walk around Little Rock Pond and up to White Rocks Cliff. Up top we found not one but two cairn gardens! It's very cool to see how creative everyone is with rock art! From here it was a quick and easy downhill past the Greenwall Shelter and down past a waterfall at Bully Brook. We had just crossed a gravel road and were going steeply downhill to VT 140 when NoKey turns his ankle and falls downhill. He took a bad tumble, but thankfully didn't hit his head on one of the many large rocks.
We then began our climb up Bear Mountain, which was definitely harder than I remember on our thru hike in 2012! We also saw a porcupine in the forest on our way up, which was pretty exciting. We reached the summit and were pretty tired, but we carried on downhill to the Minerva Hinchey Shelter for lunch. When we came down this stretch of trail in 2012, we saw a work crew installing water bars and building land bridges over drainage pipes. This trail was beautiful and dry!
After lunch we climbed a steep hill behind the shelter before heading down into Clarendon Gorge. We saw two large groups of boys that couldn't have been older than 10 or 11 and they were looking pretty tired. The hill going down into the gorge is incredibly steep! We reached the swinging bridge and continued across the road to climb up and out of the gorge. This climb out was no joke, a boulder-strewn crevice going about 700 feet straight up. We reached the top of the hill and the Clarendon Shelter before heading up to Beacon Hill.
We were starting to get pretty tired at this point and finally began walking downhill, passing lots of weekenders on their way up to the Clarendon Shelter. When we got to a certain road crossing, we began looking for the elusive secret shelter. Someone going SoBo told us they had no luck finding it and I can see why. I followed my directions and found nothing. I asked a man out in his driveway and he told me he knew where it was, but said it was more than 1.25 miles away. We followed his directions and didn't find it, so we hiked on to the Governor Clement shelter for the night, making for another 19 mile day! Tomorrow we are only heading 10.4 miles because our resupply is at the post office in Killington and we can't pick it up until Monday morning. We will take two near-o days instead of a zero to save some money!