home email
Prev Monday, September 25 Next

Camel's Hump

  • Start: Montclair Glen Lodge
  • End: US Route 2
  • Approx Miles: 10.6

We wake to fog and clouds, but no rain thankfully. Mooch zooms ahead as usual so it’s me, Stiltz, and Rebecca hiking together on the way up Camel’s Hump. It’s only 1.9 miles from Montclair Glen to the summit, but it’s two very steep scrambly rock sections with a little plateau in between them. With fresh legs it really isn’t that bad.

The lighting effects of the morning sun filtering through the fog are really striking. Everything’s lit with a bizarre yellow-orange glow.

Trying to convey how wild the fog is through facial expression
Stiltz and I climbing

Eventually the fog burns off and blows away. It’s really cool to watch it. We all get some great shots of each other scrambling up and down the rocks.

Rebecca climbing
Ella meets a new friend
The view from partway up.

As we approach the summit, we’re hiking above the clouds, which feels pretty dramatic.

When we reach the summit, it’s an incredible view, but windy and cold as hell. Mooch has been waiting for us up there for 45 minutes shivering in his raincoat! We all have to hunker behind a rock formation to get out of the wind.

The section hikers we stayed with last night at Montclair Glen catch up shortly after and take a picture for us. I’m glad to have it, I feel like my photos so far are more of scenery and views than people, and I’m wishing I had more of the people I’ve hiked with.

The descent is just miles and miles of down, down, down, down. Most of it very steep. It goes all the way down from over 4000 feet at the summit to basically sea level at Route 2, the biggest descent on the entire trail. It’s slower going than expected and definitely takes a toll on me.

We eventually hit Duxbury Road and road walk the last two miles to Route 2, where we’ll get a ride into town.

Duxbury Road
Crossing the Winooski river
The trailhead on Route 2

We’ve been struggling a bit with where to stay during this town stop. Waterbury is the most popular option, and has a very charming-looking inn called the Old Stagecoach that I was excited about before the starting the hike. Sadly, it and every other place in town are totally booked1. Stiltz, Recebba, and I ended up finding an AirBnb in Stowe, one town further north. Mooch is staying with a family friend. Stiltz actually lived in Stowe for a few months while working in the area, so she knows it pretty well.

We bumble around near Route 2 for a while trying to figure out how to get to Stowe, eventually paying for a shuttle from a woman named Joy who runs a local taxi service. We found her business card in the “little free library” box at the trailhead parking lot. We get to Stowe pretty quickly, which apparently isn’t always guaranteed. I learned that the traffic here can be pretty bad in spite of it being fairly rural. There’s only one north-south road connecting Waterbury and Stowe (appropriately called “Waterbury-Stowe Road”) so at busy times it can take an hour to go the 10 miles between them, because there’s just no other route for traffic to take.

Waterbury and Stowe in relation to the trail. We took a shuttle to Stowe from where the trail crosses Route 2

Anyway, we shower and clean up at our AirBnb before exploring town a little bit. Stowe is charming in the sort of artificial way these types of bougie vacation places are.


We had dinner at a place called the Backyard with Stiltz’s friend Jake and his girlfriend Rose. They both work for Stowe ski resort. Interesting to hear them talk about living there. Apparently this place used to be a dive bar and then changed ownership and got zhuzhed up. We talk about how dive bars are a dying species and reminisce about some of our personal favorites2. I really pig out with burger, two beers, sweet potato fries, salad, nachos. All delicious though. Great time with all these people!

Back at our AirBnb we watch a couple episodes of some British show called The Wilderness before going to sleep. It’s set in NYC and as corny as it is, I’ll admit the street scenes give me a few pangs of sadness. This sort of contradicts the feelings I’ve had at other points on this trip of being “done with my old life there”. But maybe I can be done with the specifics and still miss the city as a whole. We all contain multitudes…

  1. As you can maybe tell from the pictures, by this point in the trip the trees were starting to turn their fall color, so it got harder to find accommodation as lodgings filled up with leaf-peepers. ↩︎

  2. RIP The Duck in East Harlem. ↩︎