August 1 Mile 599.9 Wilbur Clearing Shelter
What a busy day! I hit the trail around 6:30am and hiked 1.4 miles downhill to Highway 2. I waited at the bus stop for about 10 minutes before the bus came and dropped me off a couple of blocks from the Post Office in Williamstown. It didn’t open until 8:30 so I found an excellent little coffee shop and had an espresso and a muffin. So good! I sat outside with Frankenpack and Ken soaking up the sun. Once I got my package and organized my resupply I waited again for the gear shop across the street to open so I could buy due for my stove. It was nice sitting on a bench, catching up on social media and people watching. Some folks stopped to chat with me, asking about the trail, which direction I was hiking and the like.
Once I had my fuel I went to the bus stop to find that it was about a 50 minute wait for the next bus to the laundry mat. I decided to walk, and after about 10 minutes a van pulled over. Inside were two NOBOs and Rob, a trail angle from Tenessee. He was up here visiting family and was helping Jaws slackpack and One Night Stand get some new shoes. Rob gave me a ride and his contact info, so when I’m down his way he can help me out if I need it. Once again the kindness of strangers had me almost in tears (or maybe it was just the PMS!) and I wished them a good day and hopped out of the van at the laundry mat. There, I ran into Fern and Gully, two SOBOs I met in Rutland. Good to see familiar faces. We caught up and once our laundry was done we walked over to Papa John’s where we got half off pizza for being hikers. We charged our devices, ate, hydrated and relaxed. They headed over to their motel and I wrapped up my leftover pizza and headers back to the trail. After a short but steep climb I made it halfway up Mt. Greylock here to the shelter. It’s gorgeous here, and I have my tent on a platform again, which I really like. Good to be out of the dirt.
And a group of about 10 pre-pubescent boys just showed up and are camping right next to me. Oh boy. It’s going to be an interesting evening! Thank goodness for ear plugs!
August 2 Mile 616.9 Crystal Mountain Campsite
Another luscious green campsite. Seems to be the theme these days. Zero complaints. The NOBOs tell me that I’ll get bored with all the green, maybe. I love it now.
Climbed up to the summit of Greylock this morning. It was warm even at 8am when I got there and O was literally dripping sweat. I got a shower at the small lodge there and was happy to be clean, even if just for a few hours. Actually, my hair smells and feels pretty fantastic now at 7pm so it was worth it.
I walked down the mountain and into a little town called Cheshire, got a sandwich and ice cream which was too much food but oh well. I hiked another 4 miles to the campsite, all the while listening to thunder and wondering if I would pitch my tent in the rain or not. Lucky me; I got here, set up, went to get water and by the time I got into my tent the sky opened up with crazy thunder and lightning. For about an hour it poured and now it’s sunny and clear. At least it’s cooler now.
I’m still having fun, even though I am hiking alone. Every evening in my tent as I write this blog brings an unparalleled sense of accomplishment for having met my goal. Even if my goal is small. I don’t get that feeling in non-hiking life. A distilled kind of contentment; living daily life with simplicity, brings me joy so intense it keeps me up at night. Sometimes I wake up at 1am and just kind of giggle to myself before going back to sleep.