Hike Thru-hikers Forward – Update: September 8

Finally an update from Rock and Roots.

The last time we heard from the David and Annie Rothman (Rock and Roots) was July 31 and they were in Great Barrington, Massachusetts about 1,517 miles along the Appalachian Trail. The most recent update starts on August 4 and runs through August 12. The details are a little sketchy but let me provide a synopsis of their journey.

Rowdy with the Cookie Lady in 2014

From July 31 to August 4, Rock and Roots hiked 38.6 miles They walked along the mighty Housatonic River and the calm and peaceful Upper Goose Pond. I stayed at the Upper Goose Pond Cabin during my thru-hike, but I have no idea if Rock and Roots did the same. On August 4 we find the couple visiting the Cookie Lady (mile 1555.7), a wonderful trail angel that hand delivers homemade cookies to the thru-hikers. Her home is just 100 yards east of the trail and serves as a common rest area for hikers. They continued on to Dalton, MA, where they enjoyed a free shower at the rec. center. They extended their hike to their destination – Crystal Mountain campsite (mile – 1569.4)

August 5 – Roots fell early in the day and injured her heel. She was able to continue hiking but it was sore throughout the next few days. The couple hiked up Mt Graylock  (1582.4)and climbed the 86 steps up into the observatory for a great view of the surrounding area. They continued their hike and ended camping at Mount Williams (1584.7) for a 15.3-mile day.

Observation Tower: My Graylock

August 6 – Rock and Roots traveled through Williamstown, MA, (1588.7) and into Vermont (1592.8) and beyond the 1600-mile marker. They camped near the Congdon Shelter (1602.8) for an 18.1-mile day.

August 7 – Very few details for today. They stopped at the Melville Nauheim Shelter and visited with fellow hikers Goose Bumps and Hot Springs. They enjoyed a dinner near a mountain brook (1610.3) and made camp at Porcupine Ridge (1611.3), for a daily total of 8.5 miles.

Stratton Pond

August 8 has no entry and August 9 shares that Roots had a slow start to the day. I am putting two and two together (low mileage on the 7th, no entry on the 8th, and a slow start on the 9th) and am wondering if Root’s heal is hurting and slowing the progress a little bit. Today’s hike included a climb up Stratton Mountain (1700 ft assent) and then a descent (1300 ft) to Stratton Pond. They commented that the lookout tower on top of Stratton Mountain (1633.5) was covered in clouds, and they enjoyed their lunch beside a nice stream. They made their way to Prospect Rock (1642.3) and a great view of Manchester Center, VT: their destination for August 9. They camped at Spruce Peak Shelter (mile 1644.4).

Ski Lift on Bromley Mountain

August 10 has no entry, but the assumption is that Rock and Roots hiked the 3 miles into Manchester Center in order to resupply and rest.

August 11 shares that the couple left a hostel around 9:00 am and continued their hike of the AT. They hiked up Bromley Mountain (1650.2) and discover that the mountain is a snow skiing location with ski lifts. They walked over Styles Peak (1654.3), Peru Peak (1656), down to Griffith Lake (1657.8), back up to Baker Peak (1659.9), and ended their day at Lost Pond Shelter (1662.0) for a 14.8-mile adventure filled with ups and downs and beautiful things to see.

Minerva Hinchey Shelter

August 12 was the last day recorded in this recent post. Rock and Roots started their day at Lost Pond Shelter (1662.0). They had traveled another 14.9 miles as they made camp at the Minerva Hinchey Shelter (1676.9). This shelter was built in 1969 and then renovated in 2006, this shelter is named in honor of the late Minerva Hinchey – longtime recording secretary of the Green Mountain Club, who served for 22 years. The shelter is designed to sleep 10.

Rock and Roots are in my prayers as they continue to hike NOBO toward Maine. They have another 66 miles in Vermont and then they enter New Hampshire and the White Mountains.

Photos: Rock and Roots – https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/photos/24535; Minerva Hinchey Shelter – https://www.downthetrail.com/hiking-the-long-trail-vermont/minerva-hinchey-shelter/; All other trail photos – The Rough Collection

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