I set my alarm to make sure that I woke up early enough to make it to the summit of Glastenbury Mountain for some pictures in the early morning light. The rain had stopped overnight but everything was still wet, which always makes packing a pleasure. Soon I was climbing through the enchanted forest on my way to the summit.
At the summit of Glastenbury Mountain stands a lookout tower. You can’t go inside but I climbed to the highest landing to get the best view possible. There were still a lot of low clouds hanging around which blocked the view more than I had hoped for, but the view was still amazing.
From the summit of Glastenbury Mountain, the trail follows an easy, though sometimes rocky, ridge walk trough the woods for several miles. I stopped for lunch at the Kid Gore Shelter and met a college professor from a small college in Atlanta. He had twisted his ankle on the rocks and was headed southbound to the nearest road to try and make it to a doctor. His ankle looked really swollen and it was a stark reminder that if you get hurt out here, you’re on your own.
My afternoon was consumed with the long 1,700 foot climb up and down Stratton Mountain. The land around Stratton Mountain was purchased from International Paper by the Nature Conservancy in 1985 and the A.T. was rerouted here in 1987. There is a firetower on the summit that was built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps which is open for viewing.
When I arrived at the summit, I was greeted by a resident caretaker who told me a little about the history of the place. As I was talking with her, none other than Otis, my man, arrived and we climbed the tower together. Stratton Mountain has a special place in A.T. history because it was here that Benton MacKaye developed the concept of linking all the peaks together with one continuous trail making it the birthplace of the A.T. And from the looks of the view, I can see why he was so inspired.
After the three mile descent from the summit, I arrived at the Stratton Pond Shelter. Stratton Pond Shelter is a huge post and beam shelter with space for 16 people, and I got the last bunk space. There is a caretaker here and a nominal charge for spending the night, but at least the privy is clean. I don’t know any of the people staying here tonight, but everyone settled in shortly after dinner. I just hope that we don’t have a snorer in the crowd.