Paul was leaving just as I opened my eyes. He was geared up for a 22 mile day and I was in no rush at all. The winding and steep ascent to Bolton Mt. was rewarded with a mountain top path of exposed roots, pine, and especially green moss. The entire sky appeared like a blue gem backdrop for the graceful forest. The day was quiet, as most days on the Long Trail had become.
I passed my initial destination, Puffer shelter, and continued on to Butler Lodge, totaling slightly over 17 miles – my knees were counting! The caretaker here was Emmet, a Vermonter who grew up on the family farm. His friends were visiting from the West coast and allowed me to join their reunion celebration. Warnings of a hurricane were in order for the following day and falling asleep in the warm, four wall cabin, I thought of Paul and his non-weather proof tent set up in the dark after his longest day yet.