--> Minerva Hinchey Shelter, 13.8 miles
I forgot to mention that yesterday one of my poles jammed shut. I couldn't pull it apart with my bare hands at the trailhead, so I had to hike to the shelter with only one pole. I felt naked and unbalanced and defenseless. It was a rough 6 miles. Luckily someone at the shelter had a Leatherman so I was able to unjam it for today.
Today started off cool and cloudy and just got better as the hours rolled on. I stopped at the Governor Clement Shelter at the bottom of Killington for a snack and some water. Just beyond the shelter is a temporary relocation because Irene wasted out a bridge. All of the NOBOs have been saying to just stay on the trail since at least NH. I made it across the unbridged river without a problem and took the trail rather than the roadwalk. I'm glad I did because I passed the 500 mile mark. I took a picture and signed the register and continued on. I did a long lunch break at the Clarendon Shelter.
There was some trail magic at VT 103. It turns out one of the people ding it is a coworker with my dad. It's a small world. The trail went over a gorge then back uphill. Near the top was a nice viewpoint. I stayed there a while until a bunch of people showed up. It was a quick two miles to the shelter.
No one else is here yet, but it is pretty early. My guess is that a bunch of NOBOs and LT hikers will get here and I'll have to share. (My guess was right.) There is a bag of kale here that a local woman dropped off. Its good to munch on and add to dinner.