August 8, 2010
GMC Centennial Relay: Vermont 108 to Yellow Gate, Johnson
Prickles, the mascot of the GMC Centennial Relay Hike, continued its journey from Massachusetts to Quebec by adding 10.3 miles between Elephants Head Picnic Area and the Yellow Gate.
Prickles' escorts were Sophie A, Charlene B, Cynthia M, Eric S, Kathy G, Lexi S, Lynda H, and the leader, John B.
The day was warm (70's) and partly cloudy. The trail was wet from rain on the previous night. We encountered a brief shower in mid-afternoon. More serious showers waited until we were driving home.
We met at the Elephants Head Picnic Area in Smugglers Notch at 8:00. Phil H had led a group from Nebraska Notch to Smugglers Notch on Sunday. He delivered the mascot, a trail register, and a first aid kit to the hikers.
One group started hiking at 8:20 from Smugglers Notch and proceeded up the Sterling Pond Trail. John and Lexi met Ken H at the Yellow Gate. Ken drove them back to the starting point. They started hiking at 9:20.
At Sterling Pond, Sophie A, the caretaker, joined the first group. Everyone reassembled for lunch at Whiteface Shelter.
After lunch, near the summit of Whiteface, one of our members encountered a rock which gashed the left leg. We were prepared with 3 first aid kits and the wound was bandaged by Sophie, a bona find EMT. The wounded hiker walked out without assistance. A couple of hikers had gone ahead, oblivious to the drama enacted behind them. We caught up with one near Bear Hollow Shelter and the other was waiting when we arrived at the Yellow Gate shortly after 5:00.
We celebrated the day with a blueberry coffee cake provided by Cynthia.
Lexi took Cynthia, Lynda, and Sophie back to Smugglers Notch. The wounded hiker was returned home, planning to bathe then go to the hospital for more professional attention. However, it had rained heavily in Washington County and the electric power was interrupted--bathing without an electric water pump was impossible. A dirty wounded hiker was taken to Central Vermont Hospital where the wound closed with 7 stitches within a half-hour (certainly a record for celerity).
In summary, we had a fine hike as planned and a small adventure which hinted disaster and inconvenience which never came to fruition.