This was THE day of the grand summit! Carl called at precisely 11:04am to share his moment of glory as he stood on top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak at 4393 feet. He sounded super happy.
Standing on top of Madonna Mountain, Carl called again just a few minutes ago to fill in more of the detials:
Turns out that last night he did make it to Butler Lodge, ending a 13.3 mile hike from Bolton Notch Rd. The lodge was super nice and he was treated to a spectacular sunset over the Champlain Valley to the southwest. Carl seemed glad to have a the company of the two care takers of the lodge. They had the place to themselves.
Today was a very rough trek. With the 40 lbs pack on his back, he had to scale the "forehead" of the mountain on the exposed rocky cliffs. It was pretty hairy trying to secure his footing when his weight wanted to shift in the opposite direct because of the pack. And the hike down the chin was no cake walk either. For those of you who have hiked up to Spruce Peak from the road, you know how challenging that leg can be. Carl and I hike down that trail with a couple of friends not long ago, and I can attest to the ups & downs, the winding cliffs, and the 2 or 3 ladders that you have to climb to get to the top. Better him than me!
When we hung up the phone, he was headed an hour north to White Face Lodge. He could see it from where he was standing and hopes that the cell reception is just as good there. If it is, he'll post a text message before he turns in for the night.
So thankful that he feels strong, has had good luck with the weather, and can almost taste Canada. I have to remind myself that it's not about the end; it's about the journey.
Liz signing off at HQ.