Day 67 – Southbound Salute 

When preparing to climb a mountain – pack a light heart. – Dan May

Miles hike today 15.

I started hiking this morning at 6 AM. I finished walking through the town of Cheshire higher and then headed up the mountain.

It was a really nice hike this morning. The weather was cool and there was a breeze. I can honestly say if I was not hiking I would have been chilled.

On the way app I turned around and took this picture. I love the mountains in the background the meadow and the tree with the white blaze painted on it. Perfect.

And then things just got better! I met Dot, Sheriff and Scout. They were headed South and as they came toward me, they separated two on one side of the trail and one on the other. Then they raised their poles like swords and I walked underneath them.  They called it the Southbound Salute.

They were so incredibly nice and friendly! They made me laugh and we made small talk for about 10 minutes. Oh how I wish they were headed north I would have love to hike with these guys.

As I was headed up toward Mount Greylock the woods started being peppered with balsam fir trees. Incredibly soft and oh so pretty.

I came upon a pond where the frogs were serenading each other. I thought it was so incredibly cool that I called Hugh on the phone to see if he could hear them. He only heard one. It was an interesting 10 minutes where I sat by the pond and listened to the frogs talk to each other.

I finally reach the summit of Mount Greylock. I think it must have been the cooler weather, but it was not a hard climb. I think the heat more than the climb has been kicking my behind lately. Today was easy.

at the Sabbath there was a memorial for Massachusetts veterans. It was a gorgeous gorgeous memorial. I’m sorry that the fog obstructed the picture.

There truly was no view from the top because of the fog I walk a little ways down and took this picture. The fog was starting to rise.

The next mountaintop was Mount Williams. Once again it’s pretty hazy, but it sure made for a great walking.

My final summative the day was mount Prospect. The sun had burned away to Hayes and I finally had a view!

Today was a really good day. I ran into three more hikers on the trail. Sparks and Trek we’re both through hikers. But Yoda was one of my favorites. He was a section hiker. He started out as a thru hiker in 2015 but hurt his leg around Harpers Ferry. In 2016 he got through New York. This year he’ll go to New Hampshire and finish it off next year. Good for him.

I’m ready for tomorrow!

Day 65 – A Two Town Day

 she strong but she’s exhausted. – r.h. sin

Miles hiked 16. 

I started out today at 6:15 AM. It was overcast and rather foggy. I climbed Warner Hill but there was not much of a view since it was so overcast.

My first 7 miles were through a forest. As you can see by the photo below it was a mist covered morning. The low hanging clouds made the forest incredibly quiet.

The sun did it’s best to peek through every now and then but for the 7 miles into Dalton it was very cloudy. 

The scenery did not change much throughout the morning. I have to say Massachusetts has a very well-defined path through the woods. It just does not have any visitas. 

Around 10 o’clock I started walking through the town of Dalton Massachusetts. One of the very first houses I walked by had this in the front yard and it made me smile. Those are trekking poles!

I thought it was strange that the Appalachian Trail went down a side street that was purely residential. Usually when it goes to a town it will take you down the main drag through a more business part of town. 

After Dalton it was 8 miles to reach the town of Cheshire,  Massachusetts. Once again it was a walk through the forest. Massachusetts really takes the nickname green tunnel to heart.

Right before I reach town I finally got a view! This is looking down on the town of Cheshire,which I walked into and where I met up with Hugh.

About halfway through my walk today, I knew I needed a day off. I wanted a day to do absolutely nothing. I checked on my phone and I saw that Cooperstown was about an hour and a half away from where we were. I gave Hugh a call and told him my plan about taking a day off and suggested we take to drive to Cooperstown New York so he could see the baseball Hall of Fame. He was all in!

With a plan in place I walked a little faster and met Hugh at 12:15PM. My plan is to do nothing for the next 36 hours.

Feeling lazy,

Day 64 – An Uneventful Day

The woods are lovely, dark and deep / But I have promise to keep, /And miles to go before I sleep, /And miles to go before I sleep. – Robert Frost

Miles hiked today 18.9. 

I got a 5:45 AM start this morning, in my new shoes! It rained all night long so the forest was very wet and shimmery. It did not take long before my shorts and shoes were both damp. It was so quiet,  around 7 AM the birds finally woke up and started making themselves known.

The spiderwebs this morning have been incredibly bad. They are thick strands. It’s more like pulling hair off your face than silk. Around 8 AM I passed a young man headed south. All I could think of was no more spiderwebs!. He had cleared the way!

The last thing my husband said to me before I left the RV this morning was Sweetheart don’t want your rain gear? I told him I looked at the weather and there was no rain in the forecast today – just supposed to be cloudy. At 9 AM the skies opened up and for 30 minutes it rained. I was drenched.

I came up on Upper Goose Pond. It’s a beautiful lake in the middle of the wilderness. 

Right next to the pond/lake there was this chimney. Once upon a time there was a wilderness club that met here.

With all the rain lately the streams are running full. Finding water has not been a challenge.

Around 10 o’clock the sun started trying to shine. But it really never came out fully the entire day.

There were no visitors today but Infinity Lake proved to be a beautiful spot to take a break.

The trail was quite overgrown in spots today. This poses a problem I’ve never drying out. Already wet from the rain, brushing by these plants just makes you wetter.

And let’s not forget the joy of a muddy trail. Hugh laughed when he saw me walk up to the RV. My legs were covered in mud. My new shoes surely got a broken in today.

I think today was the first day that there wasn’t an incredible view on the Appalachian Trail. Today was simply a forest walk I was definitely in the green tunnel today.

Day 63 – New Shoes!

Good shoes take you good places.-Unknown

Miles hiked today 17.7

My shoes got here! My shoes got here! My shoes got here!

I received one package in the mail today. Still waiting on the other one. Have no idea why it’s in Newberry, but we’ll wait another day for the insoles. I’m just so happy I have new shoes on my feet.

So with new shoes it was time to hit the trail. The first part of the day was in kind of  a swampy area.  There were a lot of boards placed down to help hikers make it through. I’ve also pass by two different lakes. The second one I saw a beaver swimming around, but I was not fast enough to get a picture.

The first lake was a small blue blaze off the trail only about 50 feet.  I went down the winding path to get a picture of the lake. I came back to the trail and headed… South! My luck held today and I ran into Scout – a fellow thru-hiker and he asked me if I was going back to Georgia. I was so lucky I had only gone about 100 yards. We laughed about it.  I turned around and headed north.

Today there’s been quite a few people on the trail. A couple thru hikers and many day hikers were out today. It’s nice to see people enjoying this beautiful trail.

Most of the day was spent in the forest. There was only one summit that had a view – Mount Tyringham Cobble. If you look closely you’ll see a cemetery.

I did walk through quite a few pastures today. It was interesting they didn’t have the normal stile.

But these worked just fine to get you over the barbed wire.

The day ended with a lot of swampy land. There were many boards laid down and even boardwalks put in place.

The boardwalk was tilted and leaning and I expected to go through it with every step. But it held together and I got through the swamp just fine.

My new shoes are working perfectly!

Walking with tread,

Day 62 – 3 Up 3 Down

The mountains are calling and I must go – John Muir

Miles hike today 20.6.

5:30 start this morning. First stop was the top of Bear Mountain. What an absolutely gorgeous Vista. The clouds are floating over the land. I could’ve stayed atop Bear Mountain all day just looking at the scenery, unfortunately the bugs were bad at the top, so I moved on.

The valley between Bear Mountain and Mount Race is called Sages Ravine. Walking in/along Sages Ravine was a pure pleasure.

It was a moss covered Wonderland with a creek running alongside the trail for entire mile. Everything glistens from the mist of the water.

There are waterfalls at every turn and the sound of rushing water was soothing to walk too.

At the end of Sages Ravine, the beginning of the climb up Mount Race, was a welcome to Massachusetts sign.

Right before you hit the summit of Mount Race-there is Mount Race Ledges. Rocks that form a perfect viewing platform for hikers to take a seat and enjoy the grander of Massachusetts.

After summiting Mount Race and then coming down, it was time to go up Mount Everett. This was a very steep climb! Thankfully the ATC volunteers had bolted in steps on some slippery rocks. This made the climb much easier and safer.

There used to be a fire tower at the top of Mount Everett. It is no longer there. I actually had to go down a little ways to get a view.

Climbing down Everett I had the pleasure of meeting Earl, Jeff, and Logan. They were section hiking and I showed them the app I used. It is called AT Hiker by Guthook. I have no doubt that both Earl and Jeff will purchase the app. They loved it!

Next I ran into Abu. She was also section hiking. We walked about 3 to 4 miles together.  It was nice to have the company.

After finally hitting the bottom of the mountain- I had a pretty flat 4 mile walk. I went through some pastors.  I also did some road walking…

… and had a boardwalk through a swamp!

I put in a lot of miles today – but it was a good day!

Day 61- 1000 miles!

You don’t have to go fast. You just have to go. -Unknown

Miles hike today 8.

Last night Hugh and I were at a campground. It was sorely needed after my day yesterday! Most campgrounds have a shower facility. I was filthy, covered with mud after walking in the rain. A hot shower was really needed!. We knew today was going to be a very short day. Because the way the roads lineup I needed to stop after only 8 miles. The next road crossing is 17 miles from there. And I did not want to 25 mile day.

So today was always planned as a very short day. Before I started hiking today, Hugh and I drove in to great Barrington Massachusetts on the off chance that my shoes would be there. They were not,  they’ll be there Monday. Along the way we stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast-I know I’m not supposed to – but I love McDonald’s breakfast!

So back we drove so Hugh could drop me off at the Great Falls. And I started hiking.

My first stop was at Mount Prospect. Here’s a view from the top looking north.

I also want to mention the chip monk population in Connecticut is crazy! You see chipmunks everywhere, but I mean I see them all the time in Connecticut. I think they’re taking over the state.

Next I walked into an opening where there was a field and laid out before me was tomorrow’s hike. The first is Bear mountain then Mount Race, and finally Mount Everett.  You can see why I did not want it to be a 25 mile day tomorrow. It will be challenging enough as it is.

I then came upon the Giant’s thumb. It’s explained in the guidebook as “a very particular glacial erratic”, I think it’s just cool! This side looks more like a thumb.

Connecticut also has its share of rock walls. Can you imagine the builder of this wall seeing it today and realizing after hundreds of years his work is still standing.

I think Connecticut has been one of my favorite states. It is just so lush and so very very beautiful.

When I got to my final destination of the day I had hit the 1000 mile mark. I have walked 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail! I still have a long way to go but what a milestone.

Day 60 – Crying in the Rain.

We need never be ashamed of our tears.-Charles Dickens

Miles hike today 16.3.

My day started out at 10:45 on the trail. I awoke at five like normal, but it was raining. Weather forecast said it was supposed to rain until 11. I thought we should go pick up my shoes in Salisbury, Connecticut. And then come back and drop me off so I could start hiking after the rain stopped. I was so so so excited to get new shoes.

Just looking at my old shoes, sopping wet from yesterday with holes in the side, made me giddy thinking I was going to have not only new shoes, but new insoles!. We drove to Salisbury, Connecticut and had to wait for the post office to open at 8:30 AM. The general store next door was open so I went in and bought a postcard for Violet and another little trinket for her. Then… The post office opened!

Do you hear Angel singing right now? I did. We walked in and asked for our packages. They were not there. She said she still had two more carts to go through if we can come back in a half an hour we can get them. No prob-blem-o! I can wait a half an hour for new shoes.

We pull down the street and uploaded yesterday’s blog.  At the designated time we went back.  I had given her the tracking numbers and I knew the packages would be there waiting for us.

They were not!

She had looked up the tracking numbers and I had sent them to Salisbury, Massachusetts not Salisbury, Connecticut. I was crushed…really, really crushed. Trail runners are supposed to last 500 miles.  I’ve had mine for almost 1000 miles. The postmistress was incredibly nice.  She said to call them in Massachusetts and have them forward to the place on the trail.

Back to the RV I went and called the post office in Massachusetts. The lady, Donna, was there by herself and was very unhelpful. At first she told me she could not forward them. Then when I questioned that, she told me she was the only one there to call back in an hour.

It was time to hit the trail.

Let’s be real honest here I was upset! No new shoes, it’s raining and I’m getting out of the RV. So I out I went, in the rain and down the trail. It did not take long before the tears started to fall. They started when I had to cross the stream. I was worried about slipping. I never worry about slipping. It was just my emotions getting the better of me.

The tears didn’t fall for long.  I knew I had to suck it up. But the disappointment was huge. My feet were already sopping wet from my old shoes but at least the rain stopped and Connecticut is absolutely beautiful.

I finally got a hold of Donna at the Massachusetts post office. She said she could forward them!  And then she asked for the address. I said forward them to Great Barrington, Massachusetts. It’s a trail town. She said, “I need the address”. I said “It’s just general delivery to Great Barrington, Massachusetts”. She said, “What’s the ZIP Code” and I said “Ma’am I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail right now, I don’t have that information”. She says “Well I can’t send it without a ZIP Code”.

Please remember I’m talking to a postal worker! How can she not have a book that gives her the different ZIP Codes of towns? Especially in her state?. I politely said “Donna I will have to call you back. I’ve only got one phone to look that up on and I’m talking to you on it.  So I’ll call you back.” She said OK.

01230 just in case you were wondering – is the ZIP Code for Great Barrington.

Donna did not help my mood but the “Orchestra” did! I ran into for kids who were hiking Connecticut. They all went to music school together and played instruments. The oboe, clarinet, bassoon and I missing one. They cheered me right up, making me laugh.

Connecticut has some gorgeous waterfalls I saw some small ones today.

Then it was time to go through split rock. It’s a narrow crevice that we get to climb through. After split rock it was just more wonderful hiking on the Connecticut pathways.

I also passed by a famous race track. You can see a little bit of it in the right side of the picture below. Hugh says it’s called Lime Rock. It was Paul Newman’s home track.

Then it was down to Falls Village, CT. I had some walking on roads and then finally I made it to the meeting place.

Today we met at the falls they were absolutely gorgeous.

Day 59 – Laughing in the Rain

I love it when a plan comes together – Hannibal, The A-Team

Miles hiked 11.1

My day started out at 12:30 PM! See Hugh’s blog for more of an explanation.

They say horses sweat, men perspire, and women glisten. Well if that’s true then I’m a horse, a man, and most definitely a woman. Within the first hour my entire body was glistening. My clothes were 100% wet  from perspiration. The humidity today is out of control. But the scenery is unbelievably beautiful.

I saw this tiny fellow on the trail. I moved him off in fear that somebody might step on him.

Along with the humidity the Nats were out in force today. I threw on my trusty bug net over my hat and kept on hiking.,

My next stop was at St. John’s Ledges. The guide books says ” A rocky cliffs that faces east and provides fine views of the Housatonic River Valley and St. John’s Peak across the way. The descent from the ledges is steep and rocky so be careful and wet weather.”

This was the descent. Straight down. I took the picture from the bottom. I was racing the rain. I did not want to be on the rocks when it started raining.

I got down just fine and then it was a 5 mile walk along the Housatonic River to my meeting place with Hugh. It soon started sprinkling.

Then the skies opened up and the rain fell in buckets. It felt wonderful! Cooled me right down. The rain never stopped. I was laughing when I reached our meeting point and Hugh pulled in. The timing couldn’t of been better. No doubt I looked like a lunatic laughing in the rain.

I felt sorry for all those through hikers that did not have an RV to climb into. The rain didn’t bother me at all because I knew I could get dry and have a dry place to lay my head.

Feeling thankful that Hugh is here!

Day 58 – Connecticut!

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” – John Muir

Miles hiked today 16.7

Got a late start today at 8 AM. But got all the chores done with the RV and laundry which is always such a good feeling.

The first interesting thing on today’s hike was Dover tree. This tree is massive. And I think they’re trying to preserve it somehow. That piece of paper on the tree is an 8 x 10 sheet. It is one big tree.

Then it was through a swampy area. I met a man waiting for his son to get done with a horse lesson and he never been to what he called the “big swamp”. We chatted for a while he had a map of the Appalachian Trail and I told him where I started – he was amazed. Couldn’t wait to tell his son and take him on a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail. (my job was done here so I moved on-Grin)

I want said that you could go around most of the stiles, not today. If you notice the sign it says electric fence. I climbed over for electric fences today.

The trail then opened up to pastures.

Where I met a couple of called Rockette and Rocket. They are full-time RV years. They parked their RV in Florida and hit the trail. We had a nice conversation about our RV and how big it was. They want to smaller one.

Then I had the pleasure of running into Bodybag and Zombie. Zombie’s the one with four legs. And let me tell you for legs are very helpful when you’re walking across slippery planks of boards.

Then the trail opened up into a beautiful winding path. Absolutely no complaints about the trail today it is simply gorgeous.

I did get stung twice. I’m not sure what it was that got me. It was very very fast and by the time I turned around it was gone. It bit me once in each leg.

Once again – a shout out to the volunteers that make this trail so wonderful – look at the bridge an unbelievable amount of hard work. The volunteers do rock.

I came down the mountain and got to walk along the river. Let me tell you it has been hot today. And the breeze coming over the river was such a relief.

There was a lot of white water on the river. I couldn’t believe no one was out rafting or kayaking. It was incredibly beautiful.

I am loving Connecticut.