Although my hiking on the Long Trail has been limited to day rambles, I have seen many animals. A turkey walked across the trail a few feet in front of me. I have heard and seen many birds, squirrels, frogs and salamanders. I have yet to see any bear or moose but have seen evidence that they have been there. On today's hike between Little Rock Pond and White Rocks I came across wildlife that was totally unexpected.
While walking north under spruce trees I heard voices coming towards me. I moved to the side of the trail so they would have room to get by. A group of elderly naked hikers appeared! They were wearing boots and backpacks but otherwise not a stitch of clothing! At first I was speechless, I could not think of a thing to say. As the group filed by and I attempted to avert my eyes, I counted off eight hikers moving by. When the last naked hiker, who appeared to be in his 80s, strode by I collected myself enough to say, "Hi."
As they moved into the distance I wonndered if I had hallucinated. Later in the day I met a clothed hiker who mentioned that he had seen the same group. Apparently it is a tradition in Vermont to hike naked on the summer solstice. Balancing an egg on it's end was not enough for these old gents. They went the "full monty" and I was there to see it.