Just after crossing Upper Cold River Road, I ran into some Trail Magic. Someone had left a chair and cooler full of Mountain Dew and Coke! There was even a trail register suggesting this spot was called the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. I had one dew, then another and then hit the trail with some extra skip in my step :)
I stopped 1.5 miles later for a long lunch at the Governor Clement Shelter. This place has a bad reputation because of all the parties that used to go on here. Shrewsbury put up a gate 2 months ago to bring the traffic back and one guy, George Hall, rides up there everyday to check in on the place. It turns out he is married to a Page (Jan). I will have to ask Randy about that when I come out.
Anyway after a long lunch and giving my clothes time to dry out (it was very muggy again today), I hit the trail just as Peanut Butter Jesus and Bird Nest came walking by. We leapfrogged each other a couple of times up to Cooper Lodge and then we hiked to Killington Peak together. It was a very short, very steep climb from the lodge. Oh, I forgot to mention, it pretty much poured rain for the full 4 mile hike up Killington. I made for a very misty summitting but it was beautiful in its own right.
By the time I left the peak it was approximately 6:00 and I needed to get a move on because I still had 3 miles to go to get to Pico Peak. I was wasted by the time I finally got there. I ate my pepperoni stick for dinner (too tired to cook) and was rewarded with some snickers from a sheltermate for sharing my pepperoni, mmmmmmm....... The stream at Pico Peak Shelter is just a trickle so I wasn't able to get water and I just ran out. I am going to need to find water early tomorrow.
Trail Conditions - Muddy doesn't begin to say it. There were puddles and even full on streams in the trail for most of the afternoon. I will be wet for a few days!
Animals - Tons of frogs and toads, a gartner snake, a chipmunk, an orange salamander
Mileage - 16.3 miles on the AT, .5 on the blue blaze to Pico Peak Shelter, .4 on the blue blaze to Killington Peak