After Irene

The storm flooded some of the trail and left many trees in our way, but the extent of the devastation left by Tropical Storm Irene wasn't seen until we got back into town. Sections of roads are gone, as though erased off a map. Some vehicles and entire houses were washed downstream. Some smashed into bridges taking them out as well. Towns were divided into islands, cutting people off from food and supplies, and thousands were left without electricity and water. In the mountains, we only saw rivers swell and ponds flood. We did see a healthy tree get ripped out of the ground and go rafting over the rapids, but nothing makes you realize how destructive nature can be as when you see it meet civilization.

The Green Mountains, which are home to most of the AT in Vermont, has been closed. We've been told there is a $5000 fine if we try to get back on the trail here, so unfortunately we have to hitch ahead to MA. We will miss a few miles, but I'll come back to do them someday.