My eyes opened at the sound of Hustle’s alarm. I debated on whether or not I should go back to sleep. I heard Hustle starting to fidget in his hammock. I wanted to watch the sunrise too, but it was so cold out and my sleeping bag was so warm.
The recent rain had brought the temperatures unseasonably low. That night it had dipped into the low forties. Traditionally thru hikers request that their cold weather gear be sent back to them in Hanover, New Hampshire. We were still in Vermont however, and many of us had been reduced to shivering next to a campfire every evening in shorts and a t-shirt.
I could hear the sound of Hustle’s footsteps as he walked up the steps of the fire tower. I gathered my courage and threw off my warm sleeping bag. By the time I reached the base of the tower a few others had joined the march to the top.
I looked over at Mac’s tent and wondered if I should wake him up. Mac had made the poor decision of setting up his tent directly beneath the fire tower. He was probably already awake from the sound of the metal stairs clanging beneath our feet as we walked to the top. I decided to leave him alone and started to make my way up.
The sun was minutes away from rising above the line of mountains in the distance. The sunset the night before had been astounding and the sunrise was promising to be even better. We were in the Green Mountains of Vermont and for the first time in over 1000 miles we had a panoramic view of mountains, lakes, trees, and not a single town or road in sight.
We were watching as the sun first poked over the top of the mountains. A “woahhh” went up by the onlookers followed by giggles. Mac made an appearance and we took pictures and videos as the sun rose.
Many went back to sleep afterwards, but Mac and I decided to get an early start. It was a beautiful day and even though temperatures at night were cold, the daytime temperatures were perfect for hiking.
We summited Stratton mountain later in the afternoon and finished the day at 19 miles. We were happy to be back in the mountains, and excited to see what was to come.