Powder River’s Appalachian Trail Journey from Georgia to Maine 2008

Bromley Mountain

Day: 138

Location: Bromley Mountain Ski Patrol Hut, VT

Miles hiked today: 13.6

Miles from Springer: 1,641.4

Miles to Katahdin: 534.8

Elevation: 3,260′

I managed to make a successful in-and-out visit to town today, which is virtually unheard of in the thru-hiking world. Each town has a gravitational vortex consisting of grocery stores, convenience stores with slurpies, cheeseburgers, and laundromats that usually combine to overcome any hiker’s best intentions of leaving town. On this occasion however, I was able to overcome all of these factors and claim victory over the yuppie shopping town of Manchester Center.

I did about 11 miles this morning to get to the road, making pretty good time. I got a ride very quickly, giving me great faith in Vermonters. The lady even took me all the way into town, even though she initially said she could only give me a ride part way. I soon had my clothes in the washer and was scarfing down 4 double cheeseburgers off the value menu before I had even been in town a half hour. There was an Eastern Mountain Sports store that had some socks I needed, but the local outfitter is way better. They replaced a bent section of my Leki pole for free, and the guy was pretty nice. This was really turning into a record town stop.

When I came out of the grocery store with my food, I was approached by an older gentleman named Joe who said he could take me back to the trail for $10. This sounded pretty good to me, since the trail was more than 5 miles away. A French Canadian hiker named Torch, who is hiking the Long Trail, decided to ride too, and we talked Joe down to $15 for both of us. Joe drives a very nice Cadillac, and he’s installed some very cheesy noises in his car, such as a beeping when the car backs up, and a train whistle when he blows the horn. We were definitely riding to the trail in style.

I was back at the trail by 5 p.m. or so, which made for an unheard-of 4-5 hour town stop. I had clean clothes, a full food bag and a stomach still hurting from my binge eating at McDonald’s and Ben and Jerry’s.

The shelter was only about a mile and a half up the mountain, but I had learned from a southbounder that there was a ski patrol hut on top of Bromley Mountain that hikers could stay in. Those southbounders may be walking the wrong direction, but they sure do turn out useful sometimes.

The weather was threatening, so I hurried on past the shelter to get to the top before it started raining. The trail goes right through a ski area, and even goes right up one of the ski runs to get to the top.

There was a ski lift at the top, the ski patrol hut and an observation tower. There was only one other hiker in the cabin, who was a southbounder. We had the place to ourselves, and the nice thing was the cabin was insulated very well for winter use. The place even had a working phone, and there was a note from the ski patrol asking the hikers to please stop pooping in their storage shed, as it is not a privy!

The best part about the place was the fact that it’s on top of a mountain, and there’s an observation tower. The sunset tonight was phenominal, even better than the one two nights ago! It was another stunning 360 degree view. I was starting to forget about Vermont’s muddy first impression, and I have to say, the Green Mountains are growing on me!




  Betsy Lynne wrote @

How breathtakingly beautiful!

  Zack and MIke wrote @

hey jeff- its zack the kid that sat next to you on the bus- you missed a really major bus situation- our buses generator gave out and there was no air conditioning on half way home with really stinked and we had to stop at a rest stop to wait for another bus to come.

from zack

  PS Peterson wrote @

I was curious as to the Blue Ridge Summit, in Rutland VT and your site appeared. I love the pictures, absolutely breathtaking and your blog.Ccongratulations and thanks for sharing.

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