June 30, 2013
Today’s mileage: 20.6
Total mileage: 1565.8
We woke up bright and early this morning for some pancakes made by the caretaker, Nancy, at the cabin. I downed six pancakes like it was nothing and we packed up and headed out by 7:30. I would highly recommend the Upper Goose Pond Cabin to any thru-hiker. It’s a beautiful spot to stay for the night.
Not long after starting our hike today, we crossed over I-90, more commonly known to us as the Mass. Turnpike. As I mentioned in one of my earliest posts before we began our hike, I had driven under the AT footbridge several times on my way to visit my best friend Sarah in New York and when Miles and I went to Dave Matthews Band concerts in Saratoga Springs. Even before I knew what thru-hiking was, I would drive under the “Appalachian Trail” sign on the bridge and look out to the mountains beyond, wondering what it was like up there away from the highway. It may sound strange, but passing under that bridge is always a memory that stands out in my mind. I suppose I was destined to thru-hike and find out exactly what lie beyond those hills. Crossing the highway was a big deal for us; a place that we had crossed so many times, never knowing that one day, we would be walking over the footbridge on our way home to Maine after hiking over 1,500 miles. It’s a moment I’ll always remember every time I drive under that bridge in the future.
The terrain was easy for us and we cruised through the day into Dalton. My ankle was sore throughout the day, not enough that I needed to stop hiking or that it slowed me down, but the soreness was worse at the end of the day. I wrapped it this morning, which helped somewhat. I’m thankful for a zero day tomorrow to rest my ankle. It’s not bad at all compared to other sprains I experienced in middle school and high school, but sore nonetheless. We leap-frogged throughout the day with two section hikers who are hiking the New England section of the AT. We stopped in Becket at the Cookie’s Lady house for a short break this afternoon. She brought us out cookies to enjoy in her yard and we filled up on water. It was nice break in our day and there’s nothing like homemade cookies, no matter if you’re thru-hiking or not.
We were really excited to get into Dalton this evening for a few reasons. Rain is in the forecast, surprise…NOT! We were looking forward to getting out of the rain for a couple of nights, resting our feet and my ankle, and taking our first zero day in two weeks. Our last zero was on my birthday on the 16th, so we were definitely in need of a day off. We stopped at Tom Levardi’s and hung out with thru-hikers there and even saw Cleveland, who we haven’t seen since Damascus! It’s so cool to see people that you haven’t seen in so long, in this case, over 1,000 miles. Joe, Miles’ soccer teammate from UMass, picked us up there and we headed back to his house where we’ll be zeroing tomorrow. Joe and his parents have been so accommodating in just the few hours that we’ve been there. We’ve been served beer in chilled glasses, had an amazing steak dinner, and had our laundry done. We enjoyed great conversation throughout the night and watched the Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain. And now, it’s time to sleep. I am so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning. This is not something that happens very often.