Day 28 (Crystal Mountain to Sherman Brook Campsite)

The morning was chilly but the skies were clear. Jeremy made me a cup of coffee which was a nice change of pace from my normal morning routine.

I started hiking at 6:20. I hiked over The Cobbles (large marble outcroppings) and down to the town of Cheshire. I have been craving doughnuts and I knew Cheshire had a Dunkin Doughnuts. I got a large coffee and 6 doughnuts and indulged myself for an hour.

Editor's Note
Susan’s very own mother sent this taunting post via Facebook…

donuts

Can you believe that? I’d say Susan’s splurge was completely justified…

Next I hiked up and over Mt. Greylock (elevation 3491 ft), the highest mountain in Massachusetts. While hiking up, I ran into the same biology research group that I met yesterday. They are doing an extensive study of erosion on the trail. I may continue to see them all the way to Maine. One of them, Bryan, is an ultrarunner. Fun group! Oddly enough, I didn’t see any other thru hikers on the trail today.

On my way down into Williamstown I met a very nice local couple, Chris and Amanda, and their cute dogs. Chris offered to shuttle me into town to pick up my resupply. Awesome guy! Afterward, I hiked a couple more miles and set up camp at Sherman Brook Campsite. There are tent platforms here so it was my first time setting up my Tarptent (not free standing) on a platform. It worked out pretty well.

Day 27 (Berkshire Lakeside Lodge to Crystal Mountain Campsite)

The “continental breakfast” at the hotel left a lot to be desired but I made the best of it with 2 muffins, a banana, an apple and coffee. Although I woke at 5 AM, I took my time repacking my gear and making some repairs so I didn’t hit the trail until almost 8:00.

There were a lot of people on the trail. I met Croc Guy, another Flip-flop thru hiker that started a couple weeks before me. He was hiking with Bald Eagle and Bobcat (a Kennesaw State student). They all stayed at the Upper Goose Pond Cabin last night. I would have stayed there if the lodge hadn’t been an option.

The hiking terrain was pretty easy today. There were a few climbs but it was 90% runnable. I stopped in Dalton, MA for a veggie burger for dinner at Anglina’s. The trail markings were very confusing leaving town so I wasted about 20 minutes finding the trail. Once I found it, I had to run the next 3.8 miles to make it to camp by sun down. It was a challenge but I made it.

There are a number of section hikers here. I’m camping near a really nice guy, Jeremy, that had a campfire built. It is the first time on this trip I have enjoyed a campfire. We sat by the fire and talked for a little over an hour. Good times.

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Day 26 (Tom Leonard Shelter to The Berkshire Lakeside Lodge)

I survived my first stay in a shelter. 🙂 Actually, I slept pretty well except when the porcupine tried to eat the shelter. Apparently, they like to eat chemically treated lumber. It is a big problem up here. I still prefer the privacy of my tent but the shelter is a good option when it is raining.

I started hiking at 7:30am in the rain. It stopped raining around 11:00 but remained wet and cold all day. Tomorrow is supposed to be better. All in all, it was a fun day of hiking. I felt stronger and faster than the past couple of weeks. Maybe my trail legs have arrived?

I hiked by so many pretty ponds and streams today. Water was everywhere. It was good for drinking but it was too cold for swimming or bathing. There was a lodge 0.1 miles from the trail at the place I planned to stop so I splurged and got a room. It is the first time I will have slept in a bed since Day 9 (May 16th) and enjoyed a warm shower. It felt great!

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Day 25 (Race Brook Falls to Tom Leonard Shelter)

It rained all night and continued the next morning. It was forecasted to stop around 8:00 AM so I decided to wait it out in my tent. I went back to sleep and when I woke at 9:00 (wow!), it was still raining so I decided to pack up and get hiking.

I climbed Everett Mountain first (elevation 2602 feet). It is the highest elevation climb thus far. It rained most of the morning and remained cold and wet all day. I’m sure there were some awesome views that I missed due to the clouds.

Near the end of the day, I passed the 500 mile mark for my hike. Yay! I hiked with Pa Bert again in the afternoon for a couple miles. We are both staying in the Tom Leonard Shelter tonight along with 4 section hikers. It is pouring rain so I’m glad to have a roof over my head. This is the first time I’ve ever slept in a shelter. I hope the mice don’t get me. 🙂

Day 24 (Belters Camp Area to Race Brook Falls campsite)

I started the morning with a 3 mile hike into Falls Village to eat breakfast at the Toymaker’s Place. It was a great way to start the day.

It was forecast to rain most of the day and it pretty much did that. It gave me a chance to test out my hiking umbrella which worked great except on the windy ridge late in the day.

I hiked up Bear Mountain to the highest point in Connecticut with Stretch, Willow and Dragon. We also crossed into Massachusetts together. State #5 complete for me, State #10 for them. Yay! Massachusetts started off with a lot of rock hopping on a windy, wet, foggy, cold ridge. It was an adventure. I’m camping tonight with Slug Club. 🙂

Day 23 (Stealth site to Belters Camp Area)

I had a great night’s sleep on the mountain top. This morning the trail went over a couple mountains and then descended down to the Housatonic River. It was nice and flat for about 4 miles as it went along by the river. Of course, I took the opportunity to get cleaned up and play in the river.

I enjoyed hiking with Stretch and Willow and then having lunch with Dragon and them. They are part of a group of 5 that call themselves the Slug Club. Nothing sluggish about them as far as I could tell.

The afternoon had a lot of steep ups and downs. Hopefully my “trail legs” arrive soon. I’m camping 3 miles outside of Falls Village tonight. Looking forward breakfast at the Toymaker’s Place in the morning.

Day 22 (Ten Mile River to stealth site near Kent, CT)

Today was resupply day which means fewer miles and an easier pace (semi-rest day). I slept in until 7:30 and didn’t start hiking until 8:30.

I had 8.5 trail miles to hike before I got to the road that leads into Kent. I’d hike a couple miles, then sit and enjoy the view and then repeat. While I was sitting enjoying the view at mile 4, a section hiker named Spider-Man arrived. It was his last day on the trail for this hike. We hiked a couple miles together and had really good conversation. After 2 miles I stopped to cook lunch and he continued on.

After I got to Kent (home of Kevin Bacon, so I’m told), I went to the Backcountry Outfitters for a snack and my resupply. I also got my new shoes. Yay! I had dinner in town and then hiked back to the trail and up the mountain. There is a cool breeze tonight. It feels nice.

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