Where I stayed last night, there was no reception, so you get this post early this morning, As The Washer Spins.
Yesterday was going to be my 20 mile day! Plus the day I officially passed the 500 mile mark. Well, one was accomplished, but not the other…
I was up at 5 am, and packed and on the trail at 6 am. The terrain was pretty easy, and i could feel that energy. I was in the zone! I covered 8 miles by 11 a.m. – my pace increased directly proportional to the number of bugs swarming, and I leapfrogged a couple of Georgia hikers. We all ended up on the porch of a garden center, enjoying the shade, and thanking them for letting us fill our water bottles. I typically carry about 72 oz of water at any given time – two flimsier plastic bottles and a Camelbak for easier drinking. And that is where the Plan started to fall apart.
You see, Massachusetts took full advantage of this “first day of summer” thing to move the temps into the nineties, with no wind. We had two mountains between us and the next shelter, which none of us were planning on staying at anyway. Creating June Mt. was no problem… Taconic rock has given way to soft pine needles, dirt, and occasionally rock. And it was on June Mt. that I hit 500!
East Mountain was a whole other ballgame. It was really getting hot by then, everyone was running low or out of water, and forgive the tmi, no one was peeing. Everything we drank was sweated out. All the small streams listed as water sources were mud and little else. I was very careful about taking breaks and rationing water until the Tom Leonard Shelter, which I /finally/ reached about 4 pm. 14.4 miles down.
Now I had a decision to make – stay, push on 2 miles to MA 23 and try to get to the East Mountain Retreat Hostel 1.5 up the road, or push on 5.1 miles to get to the Wilcox Shelters and make my 20.
Well, I was almost out of water, and definitely low on energy, so I opted for the hostel, dreaming of the promised pizza delivery, a shower, and a cool basement room. I was hoping I could get a ride the extra 1.5 miles, but twas not to be. So It was a 17 point something mile day.
The first thing I did when I hit the hostel was guzzle water. Then, a shower. But no pizza. 😦 It was so disappointing, the pizza place had no delivery driver last night. Back to tuna and salmon rolled in tortillas. Ah, me. I had a great sleep though, broken only by a huge thunderstorm raging outside. Thank you, God! My own sound and light show, and it will drop the temps back to reasonable levels, I hope!
During the evening, though I had very bad reception, a request from a friend who seriously needed my help on something made it through the ether. Luckily she caught me very near a trail town. So today I am spending part of the day in Great Barrington, doing laundry and eating, stuff like that, until the library with desktop computers opens at 10. I hope to be back on the trail by noon, and make at least 9 miles to a campsite, but if not, there are still the Wilcox Shelters in a few miles. I still mean to make Bennington by June 27, and now that I know I can push myself, I will. Within reason.
I am wearing town clothes today, so as to not scare the people around here. 🙂 I almost look respectable! I’ll change back into hiking clothes before I hit the trail though.
I’m hungry. The laindry’s about done… And this place is chock full of places to eat and spend money. Part of the reason I was going to skip it! May as well resupply a bit while here though, I am running low on food.
I hike on!