About five minutes after I got into my sleeping bag last night was when the pain hit. My feet had lied to me: they weren't actually ready for 19 miles of hiking. For the next two or three hours, they demanded constant attention, and I cycled between lying there restlessly and massaging each foot in turn. Eventually, the pain subsided, and I was able to get some sleep, though the wooden bunk I was sleeping on in Cooper Lodge felt hard as rock, and I couldn't really get in a comfortable position. (That there was no guard to prevent you from rolling off the edge did little to help my sleep, and I would occasionally wake up and wonder if it was safe to roll over because I couldn't actually remember which way I was facing.)
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I woke up in the morning to discover that the rain spared us overnight. Checking the weather forecast again, I noted that it would almost certainly be raining fairly early in the day, so I tried to get moving as quickly as possible: it would be best to be able to get hiking before it started raining, and any amount of hiking I could do before the rain started would be that much less hiking through mud.
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I got started today a little after 7, in fairly nice weather, and began what turned out to be the easiest day of hiking on the Long Trail so far, with no major climbs and a lot of relatively flat or downhill sections.
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After a pancake breakfast at Green Mountain House, Supe and I got a ride back to the trailhead, and the trail began its ascent of Bromley Mountain. Wanting not to further injure my foot, I maintained a slow, but steady, pace throughout the day.
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Several years ago, my family went on a cruise to Alaska. One of the things I was looking forward to was being able to see the stars: I reasoned that since the ship would be a good distance offshore, light pollution would be minimal, and the stars would be out in all their brilliant majesty, with a full field of view from the horizon to the zenith, unobscured by trees, land, or buildings. Naturally, it was cloudy every night, so I saw nothing.
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