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Jonesville to Johnson–not as bad as they say

The grand winterized shelter under Mansfield
The grand winterized shelter under Mansfield

So I figured that my 5:30 am 2-mile walk from Damforth shelter to the road would be a pleasant, easy, stroll. No such luck. It was so steeply downhill, that I really feel like the trail was designed to only travel over the hardest parts of any mountain.

First resupply in 5 days in Jonesville after a confusing roadwalk (note to self: next time, bring maps). Luckily, my new smartphone came in useful and I found the route OK. I mailed a box of food to myself but there was no place to eat in town, so I downed a can of chili I’d been clever enough to send myself in prep for what the guidebooks say is the hardest part of the trail–Jonesville to Johnson over Mt. Mansfield. It actually hasn’t been as bad as the slump over Camel’s Hump. There is more elevation gain, but waaay more water, so I can keep hydrated at least (although it is getting *hot*).

Some of the trail through this section is so vertical and rocky it reminds me of Mahoosuc Notch on the AT…full out boulder scrambling up only to have to go down on the otherside. But, I ended up at this beautiful lodge right under Mt. Mansfield’s chin and had it all to myself. Here’s to tomorrow—getting over the highest point in Vermont before the afternoon lightening sets in. 6025′ gain (the most elevation gain in one day for my hike of this trail, but still easier than yesterday)

Liz "Snorkel" Thomas

Liz Thomas is a well-traveled adventure athlete most known for breaking the women’s unsupported speed record on the Appalachian Trail in 2011. She has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking–the Appalachian Trail, the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail–and has backpacked over 15,000 miles across the United States. While not on trail, Liz lives in Denver, Colorado.