July 2, 2013
Today’s mileage: 13.9
Total mileage: 1579.7
We had a nice, leisurely morning packing up our gear and eating breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and fruit with Joe’s parents. We really did want to stay another night with them because we were having such a great time. But, the trail calls, as it always does when we take time off. As relaxing as the stillness can be, the gravitational pull of the trail always wins out. The Great State of Maine is calling us home.
We said our goodbyes to Joe, his parents, and their golden retriever, Hudson as clouds loomed overhead. We wondered if it would rain. We want to extend a HUGE thank you to Joe and his family. They treated us like kings during our stay in Dalton and we had such an awesome time just hanging out with everyone and drinking some of their amazing home-brew. Thank you again and again John, Debbie, and Joe!!!
We left their house in the late morning and got back on the trail only mere minutes from their street. How convenient was that for us?! We headed back into the deep, dark woods and onto Cheshire. We had a short day planned, so we weren’t worried about leaving later. We took a lunch break in Cheshire on a park bench by a bike path. Dark clouds passed over, but it never rained on us today. We were lucky…for once. The remaining five miles of our day were all uphill on our way up towards Mt. Greylock. We’ll be hiking up to the summit tomorrow morning, but we got the majority of the climb done this afternoon. We were sweating a lot and had to drink a ton of water because of the continued humidity, but we survived.
We made it to the shelter by 4:45 and realized how nice it was to get into camp early with plenty of daylight remaining to get things done before bed. Now if only I can learn to get up early, we can do that everyday. Z-Man, a retired cop from Austin, and Knight Rider, our fellow Hancock County thru-hiker, were at the shelter when we arrived. It was nice to see that they had survived the rough days through Connecticut as well. We looked back on our past miseries together and talked about the beautiful hiking we have ahead. We’re in a huge double-decked shelter, so Miles and I set up our tent on the top level to keep the bugs away.
It’s a quiet night here. Birds are chirping nearby and planes take off and land in the distance. I’m looking forward to an early night in and what I hope to be a restful night of sleep in preparation for our big day tomorrow. We can only hope for good weather for our summit of Mt. Greylock and our border crossing into Vermont!