Day 107: Mt. Wilcox South Shelters to Upper Goose Pond Cabin

June 29, 2013

Today’s mileage: 15.8
Total mileage: 1545.2

Not only was it a beautiful day, but it was a great day for us mentally. There was a breeze blowing throughout the day, keeping us cool and the mosquitoes at bay. It was a refreshing change from the humid and buggy days of the past week.

As we headed into the Shaker Campsite for a break, I rolled my left ankle quite badly. I think I was daydreaming too much about Katahdin and my ankle just gave out on me. I have a long history of ankle sprains dating back to my soccer and basketball days. I’ve sprained both ankles so many times, that the cartilage must have broken down so much that I can recover from sprains fairly quickly. I’m not really sure on the science behind that, but I take it as a good thing in the short-term, but probably bad in the long-term when I’m old and grey and have arthritis in my ankles. Anyways, My ankle hurt really bad at first and I thought that I might not be able to hike anymore today. But, I just kept walking, kept it moving during our break, and took some Advil. And most importantly, I didn’t take my shoe off. I didn’t notice any major difference in my hiking for the rest of the day, just some soreness. It’s still a little sore now, but I can only hope it doesn’t slow me down tomorrow. That’s the price I pay for wearing a softer soled shoe. I’m going to wrap it up tomorrow while we hike. I knew I kept that Ace bandage for a reason.

After a short day, we arrived at the cabin around 4:15. Remember, shorter days are part of the new plan for us. There will still be some 20 milers mixed in there, but 15-ish mile days will become more normal for us. We were greeted at the trailhead to the cabin by a handwritten sign warning anyone who had been sick in the past few days to avoid the cabin. Was the norovirus back again??? Thankfully, we were informed by the present caretaker, Nancy, that it is not. It was just a precautionary measure by the last caretaker regarding the norovirus in the south.

After claiming our bunks, we quickly headed down to the dock to soak our feet in the pond. The water was surprisingly warm and I was almost tempted to jump in. The breeze kept me cool however, so I opted to stay dry. It was so peaceful this evening. The sun was out, the grasshoppers were chirping, and the pond water remained calm, not a boat or bird disturbing its peace.

There are quite a few people here tonight, but only two other thru-hikers besides Miles and I. Roadrunner, who is the only thru-hiker we saw for almost three days, is here, and Tempo, who we met in New Jersey. We’ve hardly seen any thru-hikers lately. It’s hard to tell if not as many people are signing the log books, if we are actually ahead of most people, or if they’ve gotten off the trail for good. We just found out that one of our friends out here got Lyme Disease and had to go to the hospital in Great Barrington. It sounds like she caught it early enough and will be back on the trail in a couple of days. It’s a scary reminder of how easy it is to get Lyme Disease out here. We can only keep checking for ticks daily and hope that we don’t miss any. And I want to make a special shout-out to Phys. Ed, who unfortunately had to make the decision to get off the trail. Phys. Ed was kind enough to let us stay with him in Gettysburg and he is by far one of our favorite people that we’ve met on the trail. Thanks for everything Phys. Ed and we hope to see you soon! We miss you!

I’m sitting in the cabin by the fire, enjoying our short time here. Earlier on the porch, I watched a mother bird fly back and forth to her nest feeding her babies who chirped and chirped as she brought them food. A hummingbird flew by and weekend hikers trooped through after a dip in the pond. I sure do enjoy these early nights into camp.

4 thoughts on “Day 107: Mt. Wilcox South Shelters to Upper Goose Pond Cabin

  1. Thanks guys! You keep plugging away….I love reading your posts. Slowing down is a good idea, because you will still get there before August 20.

  2. When you get to Dalton, if you stay at Tom Lavardie’s (free), he will slack pack you over Mt. Greylock (again for free). And, he takes hikers into Pittsfield for resupply (yuppers, you guessed it, free). There is a AYCE buffet in Pittsfield, and if you need it an EMS and Dick’s sporting goods store. Down the road and on the right from Tom’s is a pub to stop into for good grub. When you get to Cheshire there is a pizza joint with good subs. On top of Greylock there is a restaurant. And, North Adams has a Stop and Shop a quarter mile west of the trailhead. You can pack light with food through the rest of Massachusetts.

  3. When I read about your sliding off trails, taking a wrong turn, or mentally getting off course due to the hardships you face and needing to regroup, I thought about what happens when a ship at sea gets off course. The captain shouts out the new course and the helmsman turns the ship until she is on the right course. Then the captain shouts, Steady as she goes!” Perhaps this can be your song when you need to get back on course.

    Grandma Sharon and I are amazed and humbled by your daily renewal of courage and determination. Much love to you both. Grampy

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