We woke early and packed quickly. One benefit to tenting at the Upper Goose Pond Cabin is that the volunteer caretaker makes fresh pancakes every morning. I walked down the trail from the campsite with a bag of dried cherries in hand. I asked if the caretaker would mix the cherries in a fresh batch of pancakes – she could use them all, I just wanted a few for Greyhound and myself.
I returned to camp and finished packing up. About 20 minutes later, Greyhound and I returned to the cabin, backpacks in tow, and enjoyed a pile of cherry pancakes and a few cups of coffee. We chatted with other hikers, many of the same faces we’ve been seeing the past couple of days.
Today was going to be a good day – the terrain was relatively flat and I was ready to move. We started hiking north at 7:30.
After a quick descent into the valley below, we crossed US 20 and actually walked across a footbridge solely designed for AT hikers – it was kind of cool. Shortly after that, we officially entered The Berkshires. I didn’t realize it until I ran across a sign fit for a ritzy neighborhood. We hiked on, making great time on the easy terrain.
At 11:00am, having hiked 11 miles on the day, we arrived at Washington Mtn. Rd. and Greyhound immediately insisted we make a quick detour. We made the short trek down the road and found ourselves at the “Cookie Lady’s” house.
(Note: Greyhound is a trail researcher. While I’m busy figuring out which town to stay in, she’s busy updating me of things I’m missing while actually hiking. Had it not been for her, I would have bypassed the Cookie Lady’s house without a thought.)
We strolled up to the front porch and were dismayed to find that the Cookie Lady wasn’t home. We both signed her register and enjoyed a quick lunch on the grass in the front lawn. By noon, the Cookie Lady still had not arrived home and we decided to hike on. It was a little disappointing, but I’m certainly glad I had the opportunity to lunch in such a nice spot.
I let Greyhound take the lead. I noticed I had cell service and saw that thunderstorms were moving in – the darkening skies certainly seemed to show the forecast was going to be accurate. Despite this, our only plans were to make it the nine miles to Dalton, MA. Apparently, Greyhound has a thing for ice cream. She had her eyes set on a local ice cream shop – I was hoping to make it there before the rain hit.
I took the time alone to make some phone calls. I hadn’t been updating the website and needed to explain why. The truth is I simply was having more fun not writing than I was having while I was writing. It generally takes about an hour or more at the end of each day to update the website – I was enjoying hiking late into the night, going into town. It was a relief to be away from the office.
The trail into Dalton was a breeze – we crossed through beautiful fields of ferns and hiked on some really well-graded trail.
We arrived in Dalton at 4:30pm. Greyhound got her sundae (and milkshake). While we were walking through town, the rain really started to come down. We took shelter under an awning and I looked through the AT Guide for a cheap hotel or hostel.
Turns out, the place just next door was the cheapest in town. We booked a room and threw our packs inside. It felt like a long day. We browsed the menus and decided to order Chinese – I ordered way too much. After a long shower, I fell asleep watching baseball.