Governor Clement Shelter, Rutland VT

Governor Clement Shelter Travel Blog

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Hiking along, it was gorgeous weather, but the elevation gain was killing me and the pace Jon had initially planned. We were hiking up a steep slope to the mountain ridgeline approaching Rutland VT. We climbed rockfalls from spring thaw runoff channels, crossed a stream or two, including a suspension bridge over a small gorge FULL of geologic neatness, and got some great mountain views.
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.
Hikers were safe. We were relieved.
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.
But, it was a Tuesday night, so we didn't foresee any such problems arising during the night.
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.
Stopped for a breather and a snack. Lots of up-hill this day!

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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Stopped for a breather and a snack…
Stopped for a breather and a snac…
Way cool suspension bridge over th…
Way cool suspension bridge over t…
So green...
So green...
Follow the white blazes... this ph…
Follow the white blazes... this p…
On top some hill with a name, wher…
On top some hill with a name, whe…
One of the flat parts where I coul…
One of the flat parts where I cou…
Delightful swamp!
Delightful swamp!
No bridge = Fording the stream.
No bridge = Fording the stream.
Getting tired and achy.
Getting tired and achy.
Officially tired and achy, but rel…
Officially tired and achy, but re…
Jon preparing the rehydrating vege…
Jon preparing the rehydrating veg…
Decaf instant coffee and a fire.
Decaf instant coffee and a fire.
The next morning, packed up and re…
The next morning, packed up and r…
Ready to get moving after the ibup…
Ready to get moving after the ibu…
Governor Clement Shelter
photo by: RSofR