Day 115 – Saturday, July 2: Dalton, MA to Stealth Camp, 24.3 miles, 1,593.0 total AT miles.

I woke early and started packing up – my gear was strewn about the room. I walked outside and stepped into a puddle. My suspicions were confirmed – it did rain last night. I thought I heard storms rumbling while I slept. The rain brought a chill to the air. I returned to the hotel room and finished packing. We left by 8:00am.

Nine miles ahead lay Cheshire, MA – I sent a bounce box there from Cornwall Bridge, CT. It contained the makings for a fairly decent resupply. We made great time, reaching Gore Pond five miles up trail by 10:00am. Despite the overnight thunderstorms, the trail was in great condition.

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I scared a small snake off the trail and powered on. Greyhound and I rolled into Cheshire at 11:30 – I went straight to the post office and grabbed my bounce box. After Greyhound got her ice cream fix in the form of scoops and a milkshake, we stopped at a gas station and decided to buy a few items for lunch. I still needed snacks – my bounce box was dinner-heavy.

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Ever since I stopped making hot lunches (sometime in the Shenandoahs, I think), I’ve been consistently running out of snacks. I can’t seem to buy enough – crackers, cereal bars, fruit snacks, dried fruit, granola bars, beef jerky. Snacks are always the first thing to go.

I got a few days’ worth of snacks from the aisles and joined Greyhound outside to have lunch. I bought a bag of Doritos in hopes I could make little tuna sandwiches, thereby getting rid of some of the excess weight I’ve been carrying around in my dinner bag. Even with the help of Doritos, I couldn’t stomach the taste of tuna anymore.

I searched through my dinner bag (now full of all the items in my bounce box) and realized I was carrying around eight tuna packets that I knew I was never going to eat. Greyhound took two, probably out of pity or thriftiness, I couldn’t tell. I ended up giving the tuna to a nice lady in the parking lot who said she would feed them to her cat.

At noon, we left Cheshire and began the eight-mile ascent of Mount Greylock, the highest peak in MA. This popular trail was exceedingly well-graded and Greyhound and I hiked at a good clip. I passed through beautiful fields before gradually ascending the peak.

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We summited Greylock at 4:00pm and immediately made our way over to visitor’s center. We weren’t interested in the cafeteria – our food bags were full. We went straight for the ice cream and ate snacks outside. We both had to bundle up – here it is July and it’s in the 50s. The tower was being renovated so we decided to press on. Seven miles ahead lay Williamstown, MA. If we hurried, we could get to town and buy enough snacks to finally fill our food bags.

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We entered town at 8:30 – right at sunset. We dive into the nearest grocery store to purchase snacks – I also bought an onion, pepper and some eggs for tomorrow morning. By the time we made it back to the AT, it was dark. We decided to stealth camp at the first spot we came across – and Greyhound found one about half a mile away from town.

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We made camp and quickly cooked dinner. I used some of the pepper and onions in a Rice Side. Today was another busy day. I fell fast asleep.

* * *

I spoke with Savage today. They’re planning on staying on Greylock for the fourth of July. It’s crazy to think they’re already behind. Black Santa is making progress – he’s been matching our pace and often besting it by a few miles each day. I’m certain he’ll catch up soon.

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...

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