Day 114 – Friday, July 1: Upper Goose Pond Cabin to Dalton, MA, 20.6 miles, 1,568.7 total AT miles.

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.

IMG_0141.JPG

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.

IMG_0142.JPG

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.

Author: Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s