August 3 – August 5

August 3 Mile 624.1 Kay Woods shelter

I woke up to sunshine and warmth early this morning and packed up my dry tent; a pleasant surprise after the thunderstorm yesterday evening. Once trail joined with the road I took a short cut down to the community center in Dalton for a free shower. I was covered in sweat once again and stood in an ice cold shower for a good 10 minutes. Felt so good! I walked down to the PO and picked up a fantastic care package from my friend Cindy. Thank you Cindy! 

I hung out in a cute little coffee shop charging my devices and ate a huge burger/sub at the sandwich shop next door. I ran into Nil, whom I have not seen since Little Rock Pond shelter. I took off ahead of me and unless he stops for a day I probably won’t see him again. I did see Fern and Gully at the ice cream shop at the end of town, and they’re here at the shelter this evening, along with the Counselor, whom I have not seen since Rutland. My new tramily! 

Tomorrow I’ll hike to Upper Goose Pond shelter which has great swimming and lots of tenting and mattresses in the bunks. What luxury! I’ll find out when I get there. 

August 4 Mile 641.7 Upper Goose Pond Cabin

I rolled ontonthe trail just shy of 6am after a fitful night of sleep in the shelter. Mosquitoes. I wonder when there will be no mosquitoes. No matter what I wear, how much big spray I use, my arms and legs are spotted with bites. 

I tell myself it’s all part of the experience. 

Around noon the thunderstorms started and the rain came. I was prepared although I soon realized it was too hot to wear my raincoat. And so it goes! I felt tired all day and realized that it has been two weeks since I’ve taken a zero. Soon, I tell myself. Maybe in Connecticut, which is coming up soon. 

I got to the cabin, which comes highly recommended from Skyman and others. It has not disappointed. I was greeted by Gus Two Socks, a young man who is the caretaker along with his father. I got a nice little bunk (with a mattress!) upstairs next to a large screened in window. I’m resting now after eating a fat dinner and I plan on putting in my earplugs and watching the trees sway in the breeze until I nod off. 

I’ve been waiting for this moment since 10am.

Oh, once I got settled Gus directed me to the dock on the pond where I  stripped down and spend 20 wonderful minutes floating in the bathtub warm water. Just what I needed. 

A good day, a long day, and exhausting day. Another brutal and amazing day on the Appalachian Trail. 

August 5 Mile 657.7 South Wilcox Mountain Shelter

Woke up to blueberry pancakes and coffee. What a way to start the day. 

It was raining and no one wanted to leave the cabin. I reluctantly put my rain cover on my pack and left. It was a nice day of hiking, Fern and Gully caught up with me and we hiked together for a bit. We found some watermelon trail magic next to a road and stopped for a bit while Mr. Whiskers, Smeller and Counselor caught up. We hiked together to the AT Snack Shack, a little shack on the side of the trail with snacks, a power outlet for charging, cold sodas and books. So cool! We sat at the picnic table and drank Orange Crush and relaxed. 

The rest of the hike to the shelter was lovely, if a bit humid. We’re all looking forward to getting into town tomorrow for laundry, showers and resupply. Sometime in the next couple of days we’ll hike into Connecticut.

Progress. One step at a time.

Typical Massachusetts style AT shelter.
Coffee Girl sticker fading. From my bunk in Upper Goose Pond Cabin.
From left to right: Counselor, Fern, Cougar, Gully, Mr. Whiskers and Smeller. Tramily!
Snack Shack!
All the things a hiker needs. Almost!
Massachusetts has more rare plants and flowers along the AT than any other trail state. This is one of them, I forget the name.

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