--> Story Spring Shelter, 21.1 miles
Real beds are very comfortable. After a good nights sleep I woke up and went downstairs. Kokopelli and Steady were already up. There was some complementary cereal for breakfast and I had a few bowls. I made my sandwiches with a real knife instead of my spork. I don't know if it was any easier or better. Around 8:45 five of us loaded up into the car for the ride back to the trailhead. ID thought one of my poles was stuck again, but it was just a twisted locking lever. After a quick thanks and goodbye I was on the trail.
Today it was pretty flat with the exception of Stratton Mountain. Stratton is said to be the place where Benton MacKaye conceived the idea of the trail. On the way is Prospect Rock which has a good view of Manchester Center. I ate lunch on a bench at Stratton Pond. There was a loon who came pretty close to the shore. After lunch was the climb. It was like every other climb in Vermont- good treadway, stairs, switchbacks, etc., except it was longer. It started to rain when I was a quarter mile from the top. Sadly, there was no view from the tower, so I can't say if the view would have inspired me to make a 2000 mile trail. It was a long climb down in the rain to the shelter.
I know I am definitely in the NOBO bubble because the shelter was full when I got here at 5. I set up my tarp and probably have more space out here. They said the weather is supposed to be nicer tomorrow, but I don't think I can trust NOBOs anymore. I've changed into dry clothes and eaten dinner, so I feel a lot better. It's still cool out, so I'll probably crawl into my bag and read until it gets dark.