Welcome home to me! Lying in my tent at a campground about 4 miles south of Cheshire, MA, and playing the nightly game of “shove the lump”. This is where you feel around on the tent floor for rocks or branches underneath that might pose a popping hazard to your sleeping pad. Once found, you push them out if you can! And all is well.
Today was everything yesterday was not. I started the day early, I wanted to be on the trail by 7, but the hotel owner shuttling me back to the trailhead kindly stopped at the deli again, and I got two onion bagels with ham slices. One I ate on the spot, saved the other for later. I also tried to buy a few shots of blackberry brandy, but MA still has some strict blue laws. No sale of alcohol before 8 am. Alas.
Okay, well, the first nine miles were pretty easy, but they still dragged a bit, and I was losing energy at the end. More on that below. First “milestone”, six miles in, was to the shelter I couldn’t reach yesterday, then 3 more miles into Dalton, where I indulged in a two-scoop ice cream sundae (key lime and mint chocolate chip). Following this, I took one of Ginny’s questions to heart and bought a huge bottle of Gatorade. – I still have half the bottle left.
I’m not sure if it was the Gatorade or the ice cream, or both, but I was a regular hiking machine and knocked out the final four or so miles in two hours! I actually thought about pressing on into Cheshire, four more miles up, but did not; it was already 4:30, and tomorrow I want to take a nearo there – I have a maildrop, I want to hit the nearby outfitter, there is a good hostel there run by the local Catholic church, and I want to go to confession and Mass!! Besides all that, I want to rest up. Sunday I’ll be climbing Mt. Greylock, the highest mountain in MA. I cross into VT on Monday (YAY!) and will have dinner with the bro and sister in law in Brattleboro on Tuesday. After a shower, I will need a shower. Almost there…
Oh, by the way, you might be wondering what happened to the second ham and bagel? It almost fell prey to a chipmunk! You see, MA is full of beady-eyed chipmunks; I scared or startled up at least twenty today. This one startled me! I was sitting peacefully on my log, enjoying said bagel, backpack on the ground next to me, and I’d be darned if this chipmunk didn’t come racing up to the backpack. I was so surprised, I almost dropped the food! I kicked out and it ran off to the other side of the path, but it was watching me and I could still see it. Kick out again, and it moved, but never far. It wanted my onion bagel with ham on it! Sorry, chipmunk. MY lunch. But they were sure out in force today! Like the bugs. There’s this persistently pesky fly that wants in my tent.
It was very good to have energy today; I covered 13 miles. Yesterday really unnerved me – I was thinking giardia or similar, but it passed, so all is well. And tomorrow will be a more restful day.
I hike on.