Congdon Shelter, Vt., AT NOBO mile 1,602.8, Friday May 30, 2014 — “Green Mountain Leader, this is Green one-five. I have hiker bandits at my three o’clock. Permission to engage, over.”
“One five, this is leader. Permission granted. The flight will follow you in. Green Mountain Flight, this is leader. Turn to two-eight-five. Bandit hiker. Attack.”
The engine whine of a WWII Japanese Zero reached my ears just as the first flight of Vermont mosquitos closed within range. The first wave scored some hits, but I managed to apply Deep Woods Off! before the second could come round.
Thanks to the chemical warfare, the second and third waves took their share of casualties. Thereafter the mosquitos were watchful but kept their distance.
It’s funny. We hadn’t seen a mosquito for our last two days in Massachusetts. Two feet into Vermont they attacked with a vengeance.
This could be an interesting state. A porcupine showed up to take a look, but the cool weather has kept the black flies under cover. This is the first time on this entire hike that I’ve wished for continuing cool weather. Everybody who’s ever met a black fly knows why.
The bigger climbs are returning as the trail runs northward. Yesterday a good glimpse of what’s ahead appeared on the horizon from Mt. Graylock.
We’re joined tonight by the Knoxville folks and three Vermonters out hiking the Long Trail which runs the length of the state. The AT shares the route for the first 105 miles to Rutland where we will bear right toward Hanover, NH.