We started pretty early this morning to make up for lost miles. We were shocked to see the fire tower on Glastenbury was less than 5 minutes away from the shelter. I guess our 2012 guide book was wrong! I climbed up and took some photos and a video and we headed back on our way. We had a pretty easy morning and the first eight miles went by before 11 a.m. We stopped for lunch at the Story Spring Shelter and four other NoBo's showed up nearly right behind us and we all had lunch together before heading back out for the afternoon.
We got down to FS117 and then Kelley Stand Road when we got our first trail magic - ice cold root beers and KitKat bars from Ron! His wife, Jersey, is a section hiker we met at the shelter last night. The soda and candy gave us a good amount of energy to get up and over our big mountain for the day. We began climbing up Stratton Mountain and it honestly wasn't as hard as we thought it looked on paper! There were a few steep and rocky sections, but that is really the norm in Vermont. We reached the top in less than an hour and a half and met the caretaker before climbing up the tower. It was a clear but windy afternoon, but thankfully this tower had all the windows installed! I took tons more photos and video and we then began our ascent down to the shelter.
The climb down Stratton was just as steep, rocky, and muddy, but we made it the 3.6 miles to the Stratton Pond Shelter pretty quickly as well. After all is said and done, we hiked 19.3 miles on trail, plus the 0.2 miles to the shelter. It's amazing to make these kinds of miles when you aren't an AT thru hiker with 1600 miles under your belt! Tomorrow we are going to get up early and get into Manchester Center around lunchtime for our resupply.