AT miles hiked today: 13.3
Total AT miles hiked: 838.5

Today we hiked to The Lookout cabin to have our lunch. It is old and has a tall wooden ladder leading up to a platform on the roof. On the front porch is a sign nailed over holes broken in the wooden planks. The sign warns of hazards and private property and says enter at your own risk, so I climb the ladder instead, which was possibly a bad idea, because out was scary and old. It reminded me of an old firetower I climbed early in my hike. I stepped on the edges of the wooden rungs and tried to not put too much stress on any one piece of wood. The view was great, though maybe bit worth the danger. Eagle Eye, who wants to transition her name to Sunshine, is the only one who didn't go up. She was the smart one, I'm sure of it. Today was also a day for berries. We pushed through miles of ripe blackberries and raspberries, picking them as we could take the time. I took so much time picking them that I became picky and only got the berries when they were easy to get and hanging into my path. The blackberries were a little bitter so I resorted to only picking the raspberries which were sweet and juicy. I almost made myself sick with berries, but I survived.

When they were hiking in Georgia, before I met them, the rest if my group of women had met Short 'n Sweet and Greybeard who invited them to call when they were in Vermont. Now I'm hiking with them and here we are in Vermont, so I get to meet them, too.

Short 'n Sweet hiked in to meet us in the afternoon, and hiked back out with us to her car. She brought us chocolate cream cheese brownies to eat on top of the hill. They were so good and perfect sugary fuel to get us the rest of the way to her car. For some reason we were all dragging. It may have had to do with the fact that Rockin' Robin is leaving us and today is her last day hiking with us for a few weeks. She'll be off to the bus station tomorrow while we take a zero and deal with gear issues and resupply ourselves. It's pretty sad when a member of the group has to leave, especially when she is not ready to leave. Her life has called her away and we will miss her. We have her a homemade card and told her to come back to us. We'll be out here for a while.

Short 'n Sweet has offered to slackpack us for 20.6 miles back to her house. She also prepared the most amazing meal for us using fresh ingredients and wonderful talent. The cold soup with citrus, cilantro and avocado (I think?) that she served us was just about the best thing I have ever eaten, and everything else was fabulous, too. They were both so generous and helpful and know just what thruhikers need when they come into town. Thank you both for sharing your house and life with us and helping us out so much. And thanks for helping all the hikers the way you do. It's wonderful to see the faces of those often anonymous angels who provide trail magic for hikers. As a special bonus, their Cerius (sp?) plant bloomed for us to see tonight. It only blooms at night every few months and we were lucky to see it. I tried to get some good pictures, but I really need a tripod for that.

We finished off the night with rhubarb pie, made from scratch, and hot tea. Pure bliss.