This page is a work in
Stories by The Dog Team and written by
Please note that Daily Log entries are based on a race day,
from 4:45 am to 4:45 am.
Rad Dog arrived in Vermont
on July 27th to help Cave Dog scout out the southern section of The
Previously, Cave Dog had been hiking long sections of the trail,
hitchhiking back to his car. He found Vermonters very generous
in this regard. Over the next week, Rad
Dog checked out road crossings and prepared for the challenge. He
with Cave Dog each day, and helped him get to and from trailheads by
him off at a northern trailhead and then hiking in from a southern
meeting him part way.
had started well but did
not end well. When Cave Dog got to Vermont,
he was treated to a dry spring that lent dry beautiful trails. But then the weather dramatically changed
into a fickle and wet summer clime. The
trail gradually became muddier. Then,
just a few weeks before the challenge, he caught a cold that quickly
into bronchitis. He was hacking up large
chunks of phlegm on a continual basis.
The foul weather was not helping his ailment. Cave Dog curtailed his demanding training
schedule and slept more in an effort to shake the illness before the
challenge. This was helpful, but he
would continue to hack up a small amount of phlegm even after the
caught up with the Dogs early on this venture. They
must have felt frustrated in trying to
chase them down. As Cave Dog began to
feel better, the situation became more frenetic in an effort to salvage
training goals. Newspapers and magazines
that had become followers of The Dog Teams adventures were trying to
them, but there was little time with the crammed schedule.
Channel Three out of Burlington
had aired stories using file footage from the Adirondacks
the year before. Eventually they managed
to track down the Dogs and interviewed Cave Dog at the Route 9 road
early in the morning on August 3rd.
Little did Cave Dog, Rad Dog, or the camera crew
know that this would
later be the site of the most horrendous and heart wrenching episode in
Team's many adventures.
Cave Dogs arrived at Bolton Valley Ski Resort on Monday, August
4th. When they arrived, waiting was New
England Cable News, a 24 hour regional news station that syndicates to
Five News, for a story that would air that evening. Bolton Valley
was to be the primary of two base camps set up for the event by the
Outdoor Guide Association(VOGA). Because of the long nature of
a southern outpost was also set up by VOGA at Stratton Mountain Ski
On Tuesday morning, August 5th,
while out checking road crossings and doing errands, Rad Dog got a
phone call from Burns Dog who was calling from the Manchester, New Hampshire
airport. The surprise was that he was a day earlier than Rad Dog
told. When Rad Dog told Burns Dog that
he was in northern Vermont,
Burns Dog laughed for a full minute in disbelief. Rad Dog
jumped in the car and raced down to New Hampshire to pick up Burns Dog.
out more road crossings in southern Vermont
and then stopped by the Bread Loaf Campus at Middlebury, where Cave Dog
staying for the summer with Sugar Dog while she worked on her Masters
English. Working quickly, the Dogs managed to carry out all of
belongings from the room: boxes of
canned food, maps, clothing, gear, and everything that he had
storing in the van. On returning to base camp, they were
a visit to the emergency department because Burns Dog had been bitten
by a stray
cat earlier in the day. With the
doctor's consultation, Burns Dog decided to postpone the decision about
rabies shots until after the challenge.
They continued on to Bolton Valley Ski Resort, where
the base camp was
established, and arrived in the wee hours of the morning. Burns
eventually decide to take the rabies shots, to be on the safe side.
meantime, since Rad Dog
could not return to Bolton
Cave Dog was
stranded at base camp without a car and no food. After
getting desperately hungry, he wandered
down the road on foot and found another hotel that had a bit of food
most of the day remained hungry, which did not bode well for his carbo
loading. He also was able to make some
website uploads and send out some Dog Team emails at this hotel. Earlier he had wasted hours trying to keep an
Internet connection to no avail. The
base camp switchboards were too unstable this day.
This would later become a continuing problem,
as support crewmembers would call base camp from the field only to get
signal even though no one was on the phone at base camp.
weather leading up to the
challenge was terrible and the forecast was for no change in sight. A large low pressure system was stuck in the
upper Midwest. Meteorologists
were calling it a stubborn low
pressure trough because it had stopped moving completely.
This system altered the usual jet stream
pattern from being over the border in Canada to descending
the South and regaining the North by traveling up the Eastern Seaboard. The jet stream brought with it a complement
of very hot and humid Southern air that produced violent lightning
torrential downpours as it rose up the higher peaks.
It was not budging. The
Dog Team knew that this was about the
worst weather prediction possible for a challenge atop the Green
Vermont but everyone was ready. There
was no room for postponing because everyone, including Cave Dog, had to
for work or other commitments by the 12th.
So, they decided to go for it anyway and try
their luck. Unfortunately, luck was
definitely not on their side.
6th, the Dogs madly scurried around, moving into the donated spacious
Bolton condominium from
the hotel where they
had been staying. They organized the gear, set up maps and time
for The Dog Team, and tried to get everything in order before The Dog
members arrived. Adog, Gold Dog, and Wilbur the Dog arrived
around 3 pm
and were rather overwhelmed by the chaos, and so they escaped for
they could help the process. Lucky Dog checked out the last road
crossings and then came to base camp, where he showed off his photos of
Long Trail white trail blazes. In the meantime, Sugar Dog arrived
Middlebury and began to get food and Camelbaks ready for the challenge.
AlpineSummit Dog arrived and was promptly put to work packaging
toilet paper packets for Cave Dog. Lady
Dog had not arrived, yet, so Burns Dog was slowly becoming the de facto
Sugar Dog, and Cave Dog
finally left for Journey's End trailhead at 10:30 pm, leaving Burns Dog
charge of base camp. One hour later, AlpineSummit Dog and Lucky
out for their first road crossing provision spot at Route 105.
and Cave Dogs hiked into the Journey's End camp. Mystified
that they never get any sleep the
night before a challenge, they finally rested for the night at 1 am,
three solid hours of rest before their 4 am wake up call.
Gold Dog, and Wilbur the
Dog left from base camp at 3 am to go north on The Long
Trail towards Doll
to meet Cave Dog. They reached Stowe and got a call from Burns
they had forgotten to take hot food for Cave Dog, so they promptly
around and ran into Burns Dog as he was flying down the hill from base
camp. Without even leaving their cars,
Adog and Gold Dog got the food they needed, and headed back out.
fog hunkered down for the night and morning. They could not see
150 feet ahead of them, and were already racing to make up for lost
They had decided that the best shortcut to the trailhead for Jay Peak
on Route 242, would be to cut off of Route 100 and take Route 58.
would turn out to be a much longer distance.
After four or five miles on Route 58, the road
turned into a dirt road
without any markers and became increasingly narrow.
While navigating down Route 58, they barely
missed a deer leaping across the road.
Just as Gold Dog said, "All we need now is to run
into a tree
across the road," they turned the corner, to see a large tree lying
the road. Luckily, as they went to pick it up to move it out of
it crumbled, and they had no trouble getting it moved. After
eight miles, they finally caught up with Route 242 and started going
While driving on Route 242, two full grown bears appeared at the
the road, having just crossed it. Gold Dog figured that it was
approximately four miles to the trailhead, but after eight miles, they
had not seen the trailhead. Retracing
their drive, they spotted the pull out for the Jay Peak
trailhead and started up the trail. This
was a bit daunting, as the bears sighting was merely a mile from where
and Adog had to hike.
base camp, Lady, Good,
and Rus Dogs flew in from Portland, Oregon to Albany, New York.
They would run
into a series of mishaps. Somehow their
tickets were for the wrong day. After
straightening out this mess, their flights were delayed.
After a long day of delayed flights and
layovers in airports, they rented a car and drove to northern Vermont.
They were not able to arrive into base camp until 3
forecasts, training illness, shortened training schedule, fear of
about flight pick ups, ticket reservation screw ups, delayed flights, a
than satisfying carbo load, faulty base camp phone, forgotten food, a
deer, and bears in the road, short cuts that turn into long cuts, and
sleep all around, there were ominous portents to beginning one of the
competitive long distance mountainous trail records in the world. Soon it would be apparent that two support
crewmembers would not arrive at all and another was delayed by a day. Unfortunately, the difficulties would not
Weather: Thunderstorms and heavy
downpours, separated by rain, mist, and hot and humid air. By
clear and warm trending to fog.
the Jay Peak Trail, Gold Dog
and Adog claim that they were lucky to have Wilbur the Dog with them to
them, as they felt that they were the blind leading the blind. Thinking
Cave Dog's prechallenge email about pairing up hiking partners for
wondered if this kind of pairing was what he had in mind as they
their way up the trail. Arriving at the top of Jay Peak,
the Dogs saw a sign that warned them not to go in the direction
it meant that they would have to pay for their own rescue.
"what idiot would choose to go in that direction," the Dogs realized
that in fact, that was where their trail was, and the sign was a
skiers, not hikers. They started to pick their way down the
became very steep and slippery, as they were navigating down wet rocks.
After trying to reach Cave Dog on the radio and not getting any
the Dogs decided that they would probably have another hour or so
arrival, so they began to set out his food and gear. With all of
difficulties during the drive up it was apparent that they were not
make it to Doll Peak;
so, they set up just below the summit of Jay Peak.
In the meantime, at 4 am, Cave
Dog sat down to a breakfast of sausage and scrambled eggs in the
camp. Rad, Sugar, and Cave Dogs then took the Journey's End Trail
northern terminus of The Long Trail, to begin the challenge. The
was especially muddy, and, with the amount of water they slogged
times it appeared that they were walking through a creek, not a
With the light barely appearing at 4:45 am and foggy skies, Cave Dog
down the trail with a Dog Team howl and began his journey. Rad
Dogs made their way back to the shelter to collect their things and
to the trailhead.
they began setting up,
Cave Dog ran up. It turned out that Cave Dog's radio wasn't
because the radio got wet. With all of
the overhanging vegetation wet from previous rains and heavy morning
Dog was all ready soaked. He stopped for only a moment to
shoes and socks and get some food and fluids.
Then Gold Dog and Adog climbed back up to the top of
and walked down the ski slope. Coming out on Route 242, Gold, A,
Wilbur the Dog had a mile and a half walk back to their car.
they reached the car, Wilbur the Dog surrendered and refused to walk
step. Wilbur the Dog, a miniature longhaired Dachshund, was told
it together despite his exhaustion, and he managed to find the
keep walking, though Gold Dog claims Wilbur the Dog was saying that he
only real dog in the place, and was being treated like a dog.
Rad Dog and Sugar Dog drove from the Journey's End trailhead to Route
see how Lucky and AlpineSummit Dogs were doing. They had stopped
breakfast after their first provisioning spot on Route 105, and started
up their rather elaborate roadside provisions. Complete with a
display Cave Dog's food options, a folding chair for Cave Dog to rest
legs, and a towel to dry off his soggy feet, the Dogs had quite an
display. They relayed to Sugar and Rad Dogs that Cave Dog looked
and was feeling good when they saw him at Route 105 earlier that
On this note, Sugar and Rad dogs headed back to base camp,
the way to pick up some more foot treatment for Cave Dog in an effort
his feet from blistering from the wet trails and undergrowth.
supporting Cave Dog at Route
242, Lucky and AlpineSummit Dog drove over to Route 58.
They became worried when they realized that
there had been no support crewmember's cars at either Route 242 or now
58. They knew there were no side trails;
so, they felt sure that Cave Dog was going to be missed by backcountry
support. As it would turn out, this
section was only 6.8 miles long between road crossings.
It had been decided before the challenge that
there would be no backcountry support on this short section. Not realizing this, AlpineSummit Dog began
running up the trail to meet Cave Dog despite the fact that he had an
big toe. This would be just one of many
times that the support crewmembers sacrificed for the team.
Upon returning to base camp, Rad Dog and Sugar Dog greeted the arrival
Good, and Lady Dogs, and set about planning for the afternoon.
and Burns Dog headed out to hike in to meet Cave Dog along the trail
Routes 58 and 118, since he had a longer hike of about ten miles
road crossings for provisions. In the meantime, Sugar Dog and
coordinated what food needed to be bought, as Burns Dog passed the
Base Camp Manager to Lady Dog, and she took charge of operations.
Dog arrived from Maine,
after a seven hour drive, around 1 pm. He decided to get some
the afternoon, as he planned to hike through the night with Cave Dog on
mile stretch between Route 15 and Route 108. Adog and Gold Dog
The Dog Team with their stories of their morning's hike, as Rus Dog and
prepared to leave to hike in to meet Cave Dog. Lady Dog became
of the hour, whipping up quiches and pasta for Cave Dog's menu of the
Good Dog and Burns Dog hiked in on the Frank Post Trail to Tillotson
south of Haystack
heard Cave Dog over the radio saying that he was approaching the trail
junctions of The Long Trail and the Frank Post Trail. When he
Burns Dog took off running to the trail junction. As
they approached the junction, they could
see each other hiking to Tillotson Camp from different trails. They marveled at reaching the rendezvous at
exactly the same time, just narrowly preventing a missed provision
Dog dropped his pack, grabbed the food for Cave Dog and took off as
fast as he
could to meet up with the Dogs.
conditions of the trail all
morning and most of the day were wet. At
every chance, Cave Dog changed into dry shoes and socks.
After hiking in the Southern
Appalachian Mountains for five days with fifteen big
because of the damp conditions, Cave Dog and the team were being very
about foot care. However, this was
quickly causing a run on dry socks and shoes.
Extra trips had to be made from base camp to the
support car in order to
keep up a supply of dry shoes. At base
camp, Lady Dog was working at various methods to dry the shoes more
they could go back out into the field.
She settled on cooking them in the oven.
The support crewmembers that were supposed to meet Cave Dog atop Bowen Mountain
between Route 118 and Codding
Hollow Road got detained trying to find
members of the support crew to give them instructions.
The base camp phone was proving extremely
frustrating. Crewmembers would call to
check in only to get a constant busy signal.
In the meantime, the base camp kept the phones clear
and was wondering
why no one was calling from the field.
The management of the resort said that the phone
system had been hit by
lightning so many times that it did not work very well.
In addition, cell phones did not work at base
camp. This frustrating situation would
continue to cause team communication breakdowns.
support crewmembers, now
delayed from running around trying to make up for a faulty phone
not sure that they could make it to Bowen Mountain
Dog. Deciding to not take the gamble,
they drove to Codding
and hike north on The Long Trail instead of taking the shorter Davis
Neighborhood Trail. This ensured that
they would not make it to Bowen
but it also
ensured that they would not miss Cave Dog completely.
meantime, Cave Dog had
already run out of supplies before reaching Bowen Mountain. The very hot and humid conditions were making
him drink up supplies much faster than usual.
A ten mile supply of water was only lasting six
miles. This heat and humidity hung on
a heavy wet shroud, sapping the energy.
Cave Dog reached Bowen without support and not sure
when he would be
able to drink or eat again. With such
extreme activity, it is difficult to keep up with food and fluids, but
impossible to keep up and catch up at the same time.
But there was nothing to do, so he continued
hiking despite intense hunger pains.
Soon the uphills became exhausting.
His legs felt queasy and unsteady.
Every step was taking a toll. He
had no idea when he would get supported again.
He had no destination to focus on, only the pain,
lethargy, and the fact
that backcountry support had been behind all day. He
was reached at Jay Peak not Doll Peak,
support had to run to catch him at Tillotson Camp, and now there was no
in sight. It was very difficult to
maintain anything that resembled a good pace.
In the end, he would go on this way for an hour and
forty five minutes.
Atop Laraway Mountain,
Cave Dog crossed paths with support.
Usually, on the first day of a challenge, he hardly
sits down except to
change shoes, eating as he hikes. Now he
collapsed down with his head spinning and tried to pour down the fluids
something despite his parched system. He
got up feeling shaky but relieved that he was now back on track. His digestive system was tied up from
flipping from one extreme to another.
The next stretch was mostly downhill and he was able
to pick up the pace
meantime, Lucky Dog and
AlpineSummit Dogs perfected their road crossing provisions. Not
they have a table and chair set up for Cave Dog alongside the road, but
even had a milk carton vase with wildflowers, and treated Cave Dog to
abbreviated warm water sponge bath. After meeting him at Route
118, Codding Hollow Road,
and Plot Road,
Lucky and AlpineSummit Dogs met up with Groove, Burns, and Sugar Dogs
Route 15 Lamoille River bridge crossing. Burns Dog braved a
hiked in to meet up with Cave Dog. Lucky Dog and AlpineSummit Dog
over extra supplies and gear that they had to Sugar, Groove, and Burns
then returned to base camp where they dropped off dirty gear and
Dog stayed to refuel and sleep.
Night and Yankee Dogs were going to hike with Cave Dog during the more
difficult night hikes to keep him company.
Unfortunately, neither of them could make it to the
challenge for the
first night. Burns and Groove Dogs
volunteered to pick up the slack even though they felt apprehensive
being conditioned for the pace. Burns
Dog joined Cave Dog near Prospect Rock and they hiked out together as
turned to nightfall. The two Dogs walked
along Route 15 towards the trailhead for Whiteface Mountain.
Sugar and Groove Dogs followed closely behind in the van, trying
the turn off for the trailhead off of Route 15. They turned down
driveway mistakenly and pulled back onto the road, where they were
blinded by a
spotlight that a neighbor was shining on the Dogs in the van.
the Dogs commented to each other that perhaps the neighbor was taking
their license plate to call in such a motley looking crew.
Sugar and Groove Dogs pulled to the side of
meantime, Cave Dog was in
a great need for a bathroom. Since they
were on the road not in the woods for this section, there was nowhere
off to make a doghole to bury the remains.
As walking was becoming more difficult with the
great need to evacuate
the bowels, Cave Dog spotted an older women in her driveway. Burns Dog ran up the driveway and asked her
if Cave Dog could use her bathroom. She
said that she lived alone and could not do that. When
Burns Dog told her that he understood
and began to walk back, she noticed Cave Dog along the road. She said, "Is that the guy that is
trying to break The Long Trail record."
Burns Dog told her it was Cave Dog.
She replied, "I saw him on TV.
He can use my bathroom. But
you, only him." Burns Dog motioned
to Cave Dog that he should come up. The
house was chaotic with two big dogs jumping on Cave Dog and the women
exclaiming her excitement at meeting Cave Dog.
Cave Dog was inside, and
Sugar and Groove Dogs were waiting on the side of the road, a woman
with her windows down and yelled to the Dogs, "You need to stay off of
private property." The Dogs were a bit confused and a bit
frightened, so they drove on to the logging road that began the next
The Long Trail. They parked near the trailhead and waited for
Burns Dog to walk up and then set up Cave Dog for his first night's
had been debating on
whether he should take his dognap here or at Route 118.
He preferred to sleep in the comforts of the
van than along the trail. He was not
sleepy but he was not sure he could make it to Route 118 without
needing a nap. He decided to go ahead and
sleep here but it
would prove a bad choice. He tossed and
turned and for ninety agonizing minutes he could not sleep despite
there was no more time to sleep for another 24 hours. The Dogs
celebrated Groove Dog's birthday with some birthday cake and then
Dog for his 13.5 mile night hike with Groove Dog. Once they were
they took off into the night.
and Sugar Dog then
drove to check out the Beaver Meadow Trail for Burns Dog to use to meet
Groove and Cave Dogs near Morse
Mountain. However, the trail was somewhat difficult to
find and the Dogs decided that it would be best to have Burns Dog hike
Route 108 on the Sterling Pond Trail. This would be a much longer
but they could be sure of the trailhead.
to the trailhead, Sugar
and Burns Dog were pulled over by a police officer who told them that
their license plate number was called in by a citizen in Johnson.
seemed that there had been many burglaries in the area recently, and so
residents were more vigilant about suspicious activities than usual.
first, it was looking to be an intense situation. However,
the police officer was very excited
to learn that Burns and Sugar Dogs were connected to Cave Dog and The
as he had heard about Cave Dog on the radio, television, and in the
Wishing The Dog Team good luck, the policeman sent them on their
Route 108, Burns Dog took
off down the Sterling Pond Trail armed with a bear bell and some change
bag to scare up any bears lying in wait. Sugar Dog went to the
Long Trail crossing on Route 108 to wait for the Dogs to hike back out.
Shortly after arriving, Patrick Joy from the Times-Argus drove up
friend in tow, trying to find out information about how to get access
to the Mansfield Toll Road
to meet up with Cave Dog. Luckily, just at that moment, Good Dog
in, looking for Sugar Dog, to pass along the information about the toll
We need to wholeheartedly thank Terry Smith who was the key to
access to the Mt.
Mansfield Toll Road, since it usually is not open to visitors until 9 am.
knew where to go,
Patrick and his friend took off and Good Dog filled Sugar Dog in on the
information. Lucky Dog showed up moments later; he had been
Sugar Dog after returning from base camp, and although Lucky Dog seems
with infinite energy, he finally was ready for a rest. He parked
alongside Sugar Dog and passed out for the night. Sugar Dog tried
some sleep, but was not successful, since she was concerned about
Dogs would arrive.
Dog had been unable to
sleep before his hike, as well. Both he
and Cave Dog now felt sleepier than before their futile effort to sleep. The trail up Whiteface is a long, rough, and
steep uphill. It felt even more so
during this long, hot, wet, humid, foggy night.
Cave Dog was still feeling depleted from hiking
without food and water
earlier in the day and it was making it especially difficult to stay
awake. This was taking a toll on his
pace. He tried to recover with a few
dognaps, but they were ineffective.
a very grueling time,
but it also had one of the lightest moments on the trail.
Cave Dog was relieving himself in the
outhouse at Bear Hollow Shelter, when he discovered in the toilet paper
that stating, "Packed with Pride by AlpineSummit Dog".
Cave Dog found this so funny that he worried
that his laughter would wake up the hikers in the shelter.
they got to the top
of Whiteface and Cave Dog went on ahead, leaving Groove Dog to navigate
rest of the way on his own. Burns Dog
would soon be hiking in from the other side.
After awhile, Cave Dog caught Burns Dog by radio. It
turned out that he was being detained near
Sterling Pond Shelter by a growling animal that appeared to be a bear. He would not be able to make it to Morse Mountain. As
Cave Dog passed the shelter, he was able
to catch a glimpse of the animal that was growling fiercely. It turned out to be a hiker's dog. Cave and Burns Dog had a good laugh at their
false concern. Burns Dog hiked with Cave
Dog for about an hour on The Long Trail until Cave Dog took off on
own. Burns Dog tried to catch up with Cave Dog and in his
enthusiasm, he sprained his ankle. He walked another two miles
out to the
trailhead at Smuggler's Notch Picnic Area, trying to be light on his
ankle. The sun was now rising,
alleviating the difficulties of the long night.
meantime, Groove Dog had
finished off his water on his way down Madonna Peak
as the sun began to peek out, and he continued down Madonna happy to
see on his
map that the trail would soon level out. He had radioed out ahead
Burns Dog who had some extra water, which was left in the trail for
Groove Dog. He stopped to take a rest and
tried to wring
the last few drops of water out of his water bottle. As he was
back his water bottle, he fell over and fell asleep for about 15
When he awoke on a cold, slimy rock, he was a bit disoriented and
hiking towards a peak. Thinking that it
was a false peak for Madonna, he pressed on, only to realize that he
turned around and summited Madonna twice. Fueled by his newfound
frustration, Groove Dog put a little more vigor in his step and
continued down Madonna
on the Sterling Pond Trail to meet up with the hobbling Burns Dog and
Weather: Fog in the morning, partly sunny and warm, very humid,
downpour in the
evening and then trending into night fog.
In the meantime, at 6:30 am, Cave Dog came out to meet
Sugar Dog ahead of Burns Dog at the Smuggler's Notch Picnic Area.
was going through the picnic area, he bumped into some through hikers
and Rad Dog had met during their scouting of the southern sections. This gave Cave Dog a boost of
inspiration. In fact, about 85 percent
of the hikers on the trail recognized Cave Dog instantly.
They often cheered him on and sometimes
offered food or took photographs. The
Dog Team was very pleased to see this enthusiasm and positive impact
having on the local hiking community.
For many weeks after the event, The Dog Team got
wonderful emails from
hikers and mountaineers exclaiming their excitement over the effort. Many told of the inspiration that The Dog
Team brought them through their adventures.
Cave Dog down for Route 108, where
he banged on Lucky
Dog's van window to wake him up and then headed up Mt. Mansfield.
Sugar Dog checked in with Lucky Dog, who was still a bit bleary
asked him to wait in the Smuggler's Notch Picnic Area for Burns Dog,
drove up to Mansfield's
summit to meet up with Cave Dog. Lucky Dog picked Burns Dog up
headed over to the Sterling Pond Trailhead to pick up Groove Dog.
picking up the tired Dogs, all three Dogs headed back to base camp for
well deserved rest and recuperation.
Sugar Dog drove over to The Inn at the Stowe Mountain Resort area and
with Bill, who came outside to unlock the gate to the Mansfield Toll Road.
precariously drove up the steep road and met up with Patrick Joy from
Times-Argus with his friend, who planned on meeting Cave Dog and
the trail with him. After about an hour,
Cave Dog was seen coming over the crest of Mt. Mansfield's
Upper Lip and he stopped in for some food, water, and a new pair of
Cave Dog took off running with Patrick and his friend, just as
was coming up over the mountain. Sugar
Dog made her way down the mountain and back to base camp.
After parting with the newspapermen, Cave Dog headed over to Nebraska
another backcountry reprovision.
Unfortunately no one was there.
Once again dismayed at the team's difficulty with
Cave Dog headed out without food and water.
This time the pain was exasperating.
Cave Dog had to climb
Mt. Clark, Mt.
Mayo, and Bolton Mountain
before his next reprovision. He could
coast down the backsides of the peaks but the ascents were excruciating. Every step sent a deep penetrating pain
through his muscles. His head felt dizzy
and body quacked. Keeping good time
became less a mater of competition and more a matter of survival. He could no longer sweat; his mouth was
parched; and his eyes were dry. Despite
his deteriorating condition, he would not allow himself to stop. As his pace slowed, time seemed to slow as
well. With only a third of the course
completed and so many factors counting against him, Cave Dog began to
it would be more appropriate to stop and try again when conditions were
In the meantime, AlpineSummit Dog
traversed a maze of
snowshoeing trails up to Bolton
writing an inspirational note to Cave Dog in the mud of the trail,
Dog met a hiker who was intrigued by The Dog Team's challenge. AlpineSummit Dog told the hiker to bark like
a dog when he ran into Cave Dog on the trail to psych him up.
after that, Cave Dog called over the radio to ask AlpineSummit Dog to
further up the trail, nearly on Bolton Mountain's
summit. Once again AlpineSummit Dog found
running up the trail on his injured foot.
AlpineSummit Dog gave Cave Dog some much needed
water and food. Despite knowing that he
could no longer give
his best effort, Cave Dog was now feeling better, or at least, the pain
gone. On cue, food and fluids were
starting to do their job. He looked at
his watch and was dumbfounded to find he was still an hour ahead of
pace. He was would have to go a lot
faster if he was going to get any sleep during the slower night
sections. It seemed ridiculous to
when he was still well within record time.
So, he pushed ahead with renewed vigor.
enough, since he was so close, AlpineSummit
Dog was able to radio directly to The Dog Team at base camp. He
returned to base camp and went on to walk along Duxbury Road in the pouring rain
Cave Dog. They shared quite a laugh as Cave Dog thanked
for the note that he had left for Cave Dog in his toilet paper.
AlpineSummit Dog got Cave Dog some ice cream to enjoy on the road
progressed. Supporting Cave Dog along Stage and Duxbury Roads
van, Rad Dog and Rus Dog provided food and clothing as needed.
Team had an unexpected and wonderful surprise when Tim Seaver even came
encourage Cave Dog at Bolton
Back at base camp, Lady Dog was busy with her usual organizational
keeping provisions, trails, and Cave Dog's times straight.
also added a new dimension to her baking and cooking talents.
cooking up quiche, Lady Dog was broiling Nikes. Since Cave Dog's
get so wet on the trails, The Dog Team needed to devise a way to dry
The dryers were not sufficiently drying his shoes, and the
intermittent and also not strong enough to dry out his sneakers. Lady Dog and Rus Dog thought that maybe
baking Cave Dog's shoes was the answer.
The oven was too hot for the rubber of the sneakers,
so the Dogs decided
to broil them. Despite the unpleasant
odor, the broiling did the trick, and all of Cave Dog's shoes have now
benefited from some of Lady and Rus Dogs' culinary designs.
In the midst of Nike broiling, Two Dog arrived at base camp to pick up
provisions and directions for the Burrows Trail trailhead to hike into
Hump. Within minutes she was on her way out the door and off to
Meanwhile, Cave Dog was having a particularly difficult time
Camels Hump. This is one of the more
difficult sections of the trail with 3,600 vertical feet of gain and
nature. It was not a good section to be
on after being completely depleted just a couple hours before.
also headed out in the
same direction, to hike in on the Beane Trail to reach Huntington Gap.
Over the radio, Sugar Dog heard Two Dog arrive at the Camels Hump
around 2:30 in the afternoon. In the meantime, the skies opened
up and it
began pouring with some striking thunder heard in the background.
the thunder, Two Dog descended from the summit to a clearing out of the
the worst of the weather troubles. Sugar Dog decided to hike
and a half in to the Cowles Cove Shelter where she met several Long
section hikers from Vermont, Wisconsin,
They all got very excited about meeting and seeing Cave Dog in
his provision stop, since many of them had heard of his challenge.
Good Dog hiked to Mt.
where he sought refuge in a ski supply hut while he waited for Cave Dog
arrive. Around 7 pm, Cave Dog reached Camels Hump and Two Dog.
then headed down the mountain to Sugar Dog, where unfortunately his
had all fallen asleep. He grabbed some food and water and headed
trail where Night Dog hiked in from Appalachian Gap to meet him.
am, Cave Dog reached Appalachian Gap on Route 17, where Burns Dog,
and AlpineSummit Dog were waiting. Three hours earlier, three
hikers: Nancy, Mike, and Steve, who followed Cave Dog's challenge over
website, showed up to support him as he passed through. They
do provisions for Cave Dog on Saturday, and signed on to help The Dog
Upon Cave Dog's arrival at Appalachian Gap, he was set up in the van
ninety minute rest. Yankee Dog rested up for the night's hike and
Dog hiked ahead on the trail. Sugar Dog stopped by Appalachian
Gap to say
hello to the Dogs, and while sitting in the parking lot with
and Burns Dog, was lucky enough to witness an outstanding shooting star
lit up the sky. The Dogs also turned their thoughts to Good Dog,
been up on Mt.
for at least ten hours, awaiting
the arrival of Cave Dog. Rad Dog had stopped by Appalachian Gap
in the evening to possibly hike in to Good Dog to provision him with
food, and clothing since he was up there for such an extended period of
However, The Dog Team decided that Good Dog is an experienced
would certainly be well prepared for any situation.
Cave Dog was woken up at 2:45 am after getting his first decent sleep
challenge, and had some dinner and water before leaving Appalachian Gap
with Yankee Dog. On the way up to Ellen,
it was discovered that Cave Dog's energy drink was completely rotten. It had been mixed up just before he left App
Gap. So, The Dog Team's only explanation
was that in the intensely humid air the powders were activated enough
to rot without refrigeration. Cave Dog
had noticed a bad taste in his drinks earlier, but this time it was
undrinkable. Yankee Dog and later Night
Dog would give up much of their water to Cave Dog, but there was not
go around and everyone go dehydrated.
the challenge, Cave
Dog had been greeted with cheers along the trail by hikers. Usually, though, there are few hikers on the
trails at night. This night Yankee and
Cave Dogs came across a whole slew of hikers that cheered from inside
tents or came out to see the two Dogs pass by.
summiting General Stark,
Yankee and Cave Dogs caught up with Night Dog.
He parted with much of his water and they continued
on to meet Good Dog
atop Ellen. Good Dog ended up on Ellen
for fourteen hours, the longest anyone has ever waited along the trail
Dog. After leaving Good Dog, the three
Dogs enjoyed arising sun atop Abraham and ran down to Lincoln Gap.
Weather: Clear skies in the morning, warm and increasingly humid,
showers in the late afternoon, night fog.
and AlpineSummit Dog met Cave, Yankee, and Night
Dog at Lincoln Gap. They new that Cave
Dog had a longer section before his next reprovision; so, they stuffed
hydration bags into one slot. After some
food and water, Cave Dog took off again on the trail. Night Dog
Yankee Dog drove back to base camp to rest up from their night hike.
Burns Dog and AlpineSummit Dog called in to base camp to report
night's events and then tried to track down Rad and Rus Dogs to tell
back hike up the trail to meet Cave Dog a little closer to halfway for
section. On their way to find Rad Dog, AlpineSummit Dog and
Dog ran into Ant Dog and his friend John. Rad Dog and Rus Dog
moments later, seeing all the Dogs congregated at the trailhead. They only stayed for a minute, and then they
were off to Skyline Pond Trail to hike into Skyline Lodge.
Lady Dog and Sugar Dog prepared to move the base camp to their southern
at Stratton Ski Resort. They packed up all the food, maps, and
The Dog Team would need for Saturday through Monday. Burns Dog
AlpineSummit Dog discussed strategy for how to handle the night hikes,
tried to estimate times and distances of Cave Dog's arrival at
along the trail.
Ant Dog waited at Middlebury Gap on Route 125, for Cave Dog to arrive,
Nancy, Steve, and Mike, the enthusiastic Dog Team supporters, hiked in
support Cave Dog at the Sucker Brook Shelter between Romance and Worth Mountains.
Up until this time, Cave Dog had been carrying a two and half
GoLite rain jacket for the periodic storms he was experiencing. Atop Worth Mountain,
Cave Dog discovered that somehow he had left without it, and it poured. Lightning was striking regularly, and Cave
Dog was completely drenched and shivering from the wind.
A light tee shirt and shorts was not
enough. By the time he reached Nancy,
Steve, and Mike at Romance Gap, he was having a difficult time keeping
warm. Mike was kind enough to give Cave
Dog his raincoat despite having to hike back in the downpour without
cover. That raincoat had been his trusty
protection against the elements for his through hike of the Pacific
and it served Cave Dog well.
was provisioned by Ant
Dog at Brandon Gap on Route 73, and then Groove Dog and Good Dog
Cave Dog near David Logan Shelter.
Unfortunately, the night hikers had miscalculated. They thought Cave Dog was going to be farther
down the trail. So, Cave Dog did this
night section alone. It was very
difficult for Cave Dog to keep awake without company, and he had to
care to keep oriented. Short dognaps did
not help. This normally easy section of
The Long Trail seemed extremely long and interminably slow to Cave Dog. Cave Dog was very happy to find Groove Dog
willing to hike with Cave Dog even though he had not anticipated having
this section. Even with Groove Dog's
good company, Cave Dog was having difficulties.
Burns Dog took Yankee Dog to Route 4, and he back
hiked in to meet up
with Cave Dog, relieving Groove Dog.
With Yankee Dog's energy, Cave Dog started to regain
Burns Dog and
AlpineSummit Dog worked on finding another trail access to The Long
between Route 73 and Route 4. The entire length of The Long Trail
Route 73 and Route 4 is 19.9 miles long, leaving Cave Dog without
for more miles than The Dog Team likes. Burns and AlpineSummit
noticed a road called South
Pond Road on the map that would give them
access to The
Long Trail before Cave Dog reached Route 4, which was exactly what they
They mentioned their South
Pond Road idea to Ant Dog, who agreed to
the trail to see if it actually went through to The Long Trail.
when he arrived, he saw that it was gated off and on private property.
Ant Dog went to the neighboring property and after telling him
Dog's challenge and why they wanted access to the road, the owner of
property agreed to unlock the gates and let Ant Dog leave some
the shelter on The Long Trail junction there. Leaving some pizza
water behind for Cave Dog, Ant Dog thanked the owner and headed back
rest up from the day's activities.
Yankee Dog hiked back out with Cave Dog but after a while Cave Dog
regain his strength and went out ahead alone.
At Route 4, Cave Dog rested for an hour under
AlpineSummit Dog's care
before heading out to the trail where Night Dog had already started
This would be the last time that Cave Dog slept during the
challenge. Counting only quality sleep,
he had two and half hours over four and half days.
Weather: Overcast and humid, rain throughout the late afternoon and
evening, then fog
Cave Dog met up with Night Dog at
Little Killington and took off further down the trail, leaving Night
hike back out to his car at Route 4.
seeing off Cave Dog and
Night Dog at Route 4, AlpineSummit Dog met up with Sugar Dog at Upper Cold River Road.
They entertained themselves by running North up the trail to
messages in the mud for Cave Dog as he passed through. Granted,
both very tired Dogs who were easily amused. Right before Cave
arrived at Upper Cold River Road, Ant Dog and his friend John showed up
cheer on Cave Dog. The Dog Team members then drove around to the Lower Cold River Road
to meet Cave Dog again after a 1.5 mile stretch of trail. Even
had just put on new sneakers 1.5 miles earlier, Cave Dog had to trot
stream that rendered his dry sneakers soaking wet, and he changed his
At that point, AlpineSummit Dog sadly had to take his leave from the
and head back home to the Adirondacks.
He wished The Dog Team well and went back to base camp. Ant
Sugar Dog then plotted out their day, and Ant Dog called in Cave Dog's
times to Lady Dog, while Sugar Dog drove on to meet Cave Dog at the
provision stop. Arriving in the parking lot, she met Winston, a
new transplant to Vermont from Washington, D.C.,
who was intrigued by Cave Dog's challenge and wanted to see him in
Sugar Dog told him to come back in a couple hours when she
to come through. Ant Dog arrived at the provision spot as did a
photographer from the Rutland Herald, and it wasn't long before Cave
through. Unfortunately, Winston missed Cave Dog by just a few
but he managed to meet Sugar and Ant Dog at the next road crossing on
140. Cave Dog didn't stop there for long, but he did manage to
ice cream to help combat the heat and his hunger. Winston got
of Cave Dog refueling and then was kind enough to help out the Dog Team
picking up Cave Dog's discarded wrapper from the trail, which was
ice cream and too messy to carry.
Ant and Sugar Dog stopped by the house of one of Ant Dog's colleagues
and filled up the 7 gallon jug of water in the van for future
they brainstormed how to manage the rest of the day, alternately
their maps and calling Lady Dog for her advice. The Dogs then
drove on to
USFS Road 10, and along the way, heard from Rad Dog who was with Rus
Dog on top
of Mt. Baker. Upon arriving at
Trail junction on Road 10, Ant and Sugar Dogs met two enthusiastic Cave
fans, David and Paula Quesnel, who already have Dog names (251 Big Dog
Dog, respectively), from their pastime of geo-caching in Vermont.
Dog and Ant Dog asked the Quesnels if they knew anything about a road
called Old Rootville Road,
that would give Sugar Dog hiking access to Prospect Rock to potentially
reprovision Cave Dog in his long stretch of hiking between Rt.11/30 and
Stratton-Arlington (Kelley Stand) Road. David immediately told
that Rootville would take her within a mile of The Long Trail, but that
included 1000 feet of elevation gain. He offered to drive her up
jeep instead, and the Dogs were amazed at their good luck. Soon
Cave Dog came running off the trail in the middle of a major downpour,
food and a rain jacket, and he was off again. Sugar and Ant Dogs
back to Stratton where they revised their plans, and Groove Dog agreed
Sugar Dog's place on the road provisions for the night, while Ant Dog
Dog decided to meet up with the Quesnels to drive up to Prospect Rock
Cave Dog's arrival. After some frantic gathering of gear, Night
Groove Dog headed off to USFS Road 21/Mad Tom Notch Road to wait for
Good Dog and Ant Dog were off for their jeep adventure on Old Rootville
and Lady Dog was off to drop Burns Dog off for a bike ride on
Brookwood Road that was found after great searching by Lady Dog.
During the afternoon, Lady, Groove, and Burns Dog mulled over the 17.5
stretch of hiking that Cave Dog would be doing starting that evening
Dog. They discovered that there was a trail that seemed to lead
Long Trail via North
Brookwood Road, adjacent to Stratton Resort
Groove and Burns Dog checked out the trail, but had difficulty
it, and when they did, they thought it would be easier and faster to
the trail. In the meantime, Lady Dog decided to check out the
herself. She first went to the Stratton Welcome
but because of the remote access to the roads, they did not have
information. Then she asked one of the maintenance men at
Stratton and he
directed her to someone who told her that the road was half a mile down
road from the base camp, but he was not certain if it went all the way
The Long Trail. When she arrived at the end of the road, she saw
for trail access and started walking on it, but it was evident that it
the trail. She walked back and ran into a local resident named
directed her to one of her neighbors, the Dixes (coincidentally enough,
shared the same last name as Lady Dog). Rhoda Dix and Rhoda,
Dog back to the trail she had been on and pointed out a spur trail to
Trail that was about four miles long in their estimation. Lady
thanked the women and headed back to give the Dogs the news. She
convinced Burns Dog to take the trail she had found, and later in the
as everyone headed out to their posts, Lady Dog dropped Burns Dog off
bike where the trail began.
In the meantime, Rad and Rus Dogs met up with Cave Dog on Baker Peak,
sending him along with provisions to USFS Road 21/Mad Tom Notch Road,
where he would see
Night Dog and Groove Dog. At Mad Tom Notch, Cave Dog picked up
and the two Dogs hiked through the night. Cave Dog decided not to
break to sleep on that night, instead, he pushed on. The Dogs met
Groove Dog once more at the intersection of Vermont Routes 11 and 30
Dog and Ant Dog decided to check in to see Cave Dog before heading off
to Old Rootville Road.
Unfortunately, the van which Groove Dog was driving broke down at
point. The power steering went out and the alternator could not
extra stress, so it too gave way. Luckily, Rad Dog showed up with
Dog. The van was towed to a mechanic in Manchester, and Groove Dog picked up
from Stratton to meet Cave Dog at the Stratton-Arlington and USFS Route
Cave Dog and Night Dog plowed on through the evening, putting up with
usual share of hot and humid weather, alternating with some showers.
met up with Good Dog and Ant Dog who awaited their arrival at Prospect
then the Dogs pushed on to Stratton Mountain, the highest peak south of
Killington, just a few feet below 4,000 feet. They would need all
energy for this one. Unfortunately, they were missed for their
point at Stratton
and the Dogs
suffered tremendously as a result. Night Dog left Cave Dog on the
of Stratton Mountain, and Cave Dog pushed on to the Stratton-Arlington
where he met up with Burns Dog and Groove Dog.
Weather: Overcast and humid, occasionally clearing, intermittant
From the Stratton-Arlington
Road to USFS 71, Cave
Dog had a two mile hike that took much longer than Groove and Burns Dog
anticipated. When Cave Dog emerged at USFS 71, he explained to
that he needed someone to hike with him, as he was having difficulty
between reality and fantasy as he hiked. Burns Dog eagerly
hike with Cave Dog, as he was concerned about him. The Dogs did
best to cheer on Cave Dog and told him the mileage he needed to
the rest of the day in order to break the record. A record time
in sight, and so Burns Dog and Cave Dog took off. Unfortunately,
Dog needed to drive back to Bar
that day, in order to make
it home in time for his sea kayak guiding job the next morning.
In the meantime, Sugar Dog had hiked in early that morning to the
Shelter from USFS 71, and was awaiting a signal from Cave Dog.
heard from Burns Dog that he and Cave Dog were en route. When the
showed up, they looked exhausted. Burns Dog had been up all night
not had enough to eat. Cave Dog laid down on the floor of the
would barely move. Sugar Dog asked him what he needed and he
uncharacteristically that he didn't need anything. She promptly
this answer and changed his shirt, socks and shoes, and reprovisioned
and food. She told him to eat, but he fell asleep with a tortilla
spaghetti in his hand. She told him to drink, and he barely took
When she handed the new CamelBak of energy drink to Burns Dog, he
confused between the old and new CamelBaks. It seems that Cave
barely had anything to drink from his old CamelBak, so much so that it
barely distinguishable from the newly replenished one. Sugar Dog
sure that Cave Dog drank half a liter of water, some Ensure, and
his tortilla before she sent him on his way. She wasn't sure when
Dogs would run into Rad Dog, who was hiking in on the trail from Route
she put two CamelBak bladders in one pack for Cave Dog, and gave Burns
additional liter of water and some extra food. She was hoping
be enough to sustain not only Cave Dog, but Burns Dog too. Sugar
very concerned about Cave Dog's exhaustion, but she figured that he
his energy for the last sections, as he seemed to do in these
Trying not to be too worried, Sugar Dog said good-bye to the two
then hiked out back to Route 71.
Rad Dog in the meantime had hiked in from Route 9 and was going to meet
Dog and Burns Dog at Little Pond Lookout. Rus Dog started to hike
opposite direction from Route 9, going south on The Long Trail to
By the time that Cave Dog and Burns Dog met up with Rad Dog, Cave
seriously started to deteriorate in his energy level. Burns Dog
Dog in Rad Dog's capable hands and hiked down behind the two Dogs after
a bit. Rad Dog did his best to keep Cave Dog's spirits up with
jokes and the Dogs even broke into song several times. However,
was beyond exhaustion mentally, and his missed provision spots now took
cumulative toll on his body. The weather did not comply either, and it
pour, one of many storms the Dogs had seen during this challenge, in
sky seemed to open up with no clear skies in sight. Not only was
relentless, but lightning began to streak across the sky.
Meanwhile, Lady Dog and Good Dog went to Route 9 to provision Cave Dog
hiked out. Sugar Dog met up with the Dogs there after hiking out
71. When she saw them, they were waiting on the other side of the
just off the road at Route 9. Good Dog was soaked to the bone
waiting in the rain, and the two Dogs expressed serious concerns about
Cave Dog was. They had not heard from him yet over the radio, and
already five o'clock, long past when they had expected him. There
nothing the three Dogs could do but wait. After about fifteen
they heard from Rad Dog over the radio. He was speaking rather
very calmly, in a way that concerned Sugar Dog, as she was used to his
enthusiasm and exuberance. He explained that he and Cave Dog were
above Route 9, near Split Rock, about half a mile away from the road.
Dog asked Sugar Dog to begin hiking in on the trail with a fleece and a
jacket, as Cave Dog was wet and cold from the downpour. Sugar Dog
this was unusual, as Cave Dog only had half a mile to go, but she
fleece, and was wearing the rain jacket as she headed up the trail.
Several times over the next five minutes, Rad Dog radioed to
Sugar Dog to
check on her progress as she hiked towards Cave and Rad Dogs.
Sugar Dog even more nervous, as she sensed that something was
As she rounded the corner, she saw Cave Dog sitting on the ground at
feet. He was shivering and soaking wet, though he gave Sugar Dog
wonderful smile when she saw his face. The Dogs quickly got Cave
of his wet t-shirt and put on the fleece and rain jacket to warm him up
keep him dry. He was barely responding to the Dogs and seemed
exhaustion. Sugar Dog told him that they could sit and rest a
longer, but Cave Dog suddenly wanted to get down the hill.
could barely walk. Rad Dog supported him on one side and Sugar
supported him on the other. However, between the rocky terrain of
its steep switchbacks, and the downpouring rain, the two Dogs struggled
Cave Dog down the hill. Rad Dog tried to sing some songs to keep
up, but it was hard to concentrate on balancing Cave Dog and safely
down the trail. Cave Dog continued to ask if they had reached the
yet, and the Dogs did their best to reassure him that they were close.
times, Rad Dog and Sugar Dog had to move Cave Dog's legs for him, and
even carried Cave Dog over steeper rocks. A short distance from
of the trail, Cave Dog asked the Dogs to get Sea Dog to carry him.
Dog gently explained that Sea Dog was not on The Dog Team for The Long
Challenge. Cave Dog then asked for Good Dog, and Sugar Dog took
the trail to get Good Dog. Good Dog ran in to meet Rad and Cave
the two Dogs struggled, but managed to get Cave Dog out to the car that
Dog had pulled up to the trailhead on Route 9. The Dogs quickly
Cave Dog in the heated car, and had him drink some Ensure and some
They covered him in a warm sleeping bag, and then Sugar Dog drove
with Cave Dog to take him back to Stratton to recuperate. Rad Dog
torn about whether to go with Sugar Dog or to stay behind to hike in to
Rus Dog from the Congdon Shelter, further down the trail. He
decided that he would be needed to hike in to Rus Dog.
Sugar Dog pulled over at the side of the road one mile down to strip
Dog's wet clothing to make sure he was warming up and made him drink
water before setting off on the road again. Returning to
Dog got Cave Dog in some dry clothing and got him in bed under a warm
bag. She tried to find some food for him to eat, and Cave Dog
open bag of Cheetos near the ground. Though he claimed they
he also declared that they tasted like plastic, but he continued to eat
Sugar Dog hunted for a more nutritious meal. She managed to find
corn and chicken, but there were no utensils to be found. The
supposed to move back up to their Bolton Valley base camp that morning,
between the broken down van and the general chaos of this last day,
Mountain Resort generously offered the Dogs a room to spend one more
Unfortunately, there was now gear for the entire team in one
things were a bit hard to find. While Sugar Dog hunted for
Burns Dog arrived. Lady Dog had waited with Good and Rad Dogs for
Dog to hike out, and she then drove him back to Stratton. The
he had sprained on the first night of the challenge was aggravated, and
limping, exhausted, and hungry. Lady Dog headed back out to Route
where Good Dog and Rad Dog were hiking in to retrieve Rus Dog.
Sugar Dog promptly ordered five pizzas for The Dog Team, and then
another room for the Dogs to use for the evening to alleviate their
quarters. In the meantime, Cave Dog slept. When the pizza
Burns, Sugar and Cave Dogs hungrily wolfed down their food. Cave
declared that the meat topping pizza was the best he had ever eaten,
fell asleep several times while eating it. Sugar Dog was able to
additional accomodations for the night at Stratton appropriately enough
Long Trail condos across the road. Sugar Dog rallied Cave and
to get in the car with their gear and drive over to their room where
spend the night.
Back at Route 9, the Dogs were hiking in to Rus Dog. Because of
the trails had become treacherous, especially in the opening section of
trail near the trailhead at Route 9, which is especially rocky and
Rad Dog was terribly exhausted from his day of hiking in to
Lookout, and his previous night's hike into Baker Peak,
not to mention the ensuing trouble with the van that he had taken care
Good Dog hiked in to Rus Dog, who was bravely and patiently
during the storm in the Congdon Shelter. The Dogs hiked back out
arrived at Stratton late that evening to find several pizzas and a note
Sugar Dog that she, Burns, and Cave Dog had moved across the street for
The Dogs slept hard that night,
needing the rest desperately. Around 4a.m., Cave Dog turned to
and announced, "I'm back." Indeed he was. He was more
lucid than he had been the night before, and seemed energized, despite
sore. Cave and Burns Dog headed over to Liftline Lodge where
Rad and Good Dogs stayed and gathered them for a breakfast back at The
Trail condo. Sugar Dog collected some food for the Dogs and the
finally reunited and well rested for a discussion of the previous day's
and a de-briefing of The Long Trail Challenge.
However, there was not much time to spare, and the Dogs quickly readied
rest of the day's events. Laundry was done, gear was sorted and
and Rad Dog and Lady Dog went to retrieve the van from the mechanic's.
When the van retuned, all of Cave Dog's gear was packed into it
return drive to Bolton Valley Ski Resort. Burns Dog took off in
Dog's car for Bolton Valley to get his belongings and then drive
airport, where he needed to catch a flight to San Francisco. Rus and Rad Dog
off with Lady and Good Dogs to Albany
where they were all catching flights that afternoon. Cave Dog and
Dog drove up to Burlington
to meet Burns Dog at the airport, and to take Sugar Dog's car.
Unfortunately, The Dog Team could not spend more time together
challenge ended. Within an hour of finishing breakfast and
the challenge, The Dog Team split up and headed for their new
leaving The Long Trail behind.
Rad Dog and Rus Dog barely made their flight in Albany,
while Cave and Sugar Dogs waited for Burns Dog to show up at the Burlington
Unfortunately, Burns Dog missed his flight, but was able to find
one out to San Francisco,
his new home. Cave Dog and Sugar Dog then drove back to Bolton
Resort where they were faced with the challenge of sorting out Cave
By the next morning, they were already behind schedule for their
country trip to Salt Lake City and then
had engagements awaiting them. They dropped off the van in Lake Placid with A Dog and then they were on