Governor Clement Shelter, Rutland VT
Governor Clement Shelter Travel Blog› entry 25 of 43 › view all entries
May 12th, 2009 – by: RSofR
Our aim was to stay at the next shelter beyond the Governor Clement, as the guide instructed hikers not to. The shelter was accessible by a town road, and locals were known to camp out there and harass hikers. As we went along with the day winding down quicker than we expected, we came upon a sign that said the access road had been closed off and one could only get to the shelter by foot.
It is one of the oldest AT shelters, and it was a cool one. It was made mostly of stone, with a fireplace built into one of the three walls, and two long wooden bed platforms allowed 16 people to fit comfortably. That said, the state of the shelter was disappointing. The way the local people had treated it was very apparent, literally defacing and vandalizing it for either kicks or things to burn. Some of the bed boards had been ripped up, as was a main support beam at the front of the structure. There was a log entry by some disgruntled folks who had managed to get past the barricade on ATVs, solely to prove the point that they weren't going to allow 'hikers to take away their trails' followed by expletive language.
We made pasta with red sauce, absolutely delicious, and had hot decaf instant coffee and gatorade by an 'inside' fire. Notably, I decided on my trail name, as I discovered that I had quite a salty flavor from the big day of hiking and marinading in sweat. :P We got into bed much toastier than the night before, eventualy combined our sleeping gear for some extra heat, and slept pretty well. So well in fact, that we accidentally slept in until 10:45. Our late start was made even later by the visit from a local caretaker of the shelter, George. He stopped in to check on the space and chatted with us for a while, sharing stories, talking trail and recommending things to do in Rutland (Gill's Delicatessen for lunch!), where he worked in the city hospital.
For breakfast we had oatmeal... it was awful. We'd purchased a box of packets with delicious sounding flavors, but hadn't noticed the 'weight watchers' label, and were thus cursed with the most dreadful tasting breakfast ever. But, we continued on looking forward to a day of lighter hiking in sunny 75 degree weather.
It was on this day that I became truly enamored and humbled by this endeavor. I began to understand the magnitude of this undertaking. I knew it was going to be hard when I got out there, but I was more unprepared than I thought. I felt oppressed and struggled a lot going up hill with that pack on. It was tough. Jon has conditioned himself pretty well, and got around fine while I crawled up the rocks and mountainside cursing the incline, sweating profusely and always out of breath. He was very supportive and patient and helped me out however he could, giving me his two trekking poles and motivating me the entire time. His attitude really helped keep me going. I was not only in total awe of his skills and progress, but more proud of his accomplishments and dedication than ever.
Signed, Moosegut and Saltlick (a.k.a. Jax)
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