The Dirt on the Trail: Chapter 8

500th Mile and Mass on Sunday

We left Jesse a thank you note for letting us stay at his place in Salisbury, gave Chance the dog some love, then headed over to Sweet William’s Bakery for breakfast. We got a sweet hitch in an old restored 1950’s GMC truck then got our day started.

There were plenty of views on the way to Bear Mountain, the highest point in CT.

This marked my 500th mile on the AT and it was a scenic spot to take a lunch break.

After chatting with all the day walkers, we made the steep climb down and reach the Massachusetts border.

We hiked along the ridge line once we climbed Mount Race. It was gorgeous!

Then we made our way up Mount Everett which used to have a Fire Tower. It was an awful climb in the heat of the day and didn’t have any great views to reward us. Before reaching Glen Brook Shelter, a nice lady gave us trail magic crumb cake, tea, and ice water.
Great Barrington, MA
I hiked most of the short trip with Butterfly to US-7 where we met up with Frisbee and Gumby to hitch into Great Barrington, MA. We went to SoCo Oasis for juice and smoothies before grabbing burritos at Taquiera Azteca.

After wandering around town, we scored a hitch to Travel Lodge with a former thru hiker who hiked in 2004. We got a room before grabbing a beer at Barrington Brewery. The owner was kind enough to cover the first round of drinks for Frisbee, Gumby, and I. The food looked amazing there, but we decided to grab food at the Price Chopper grocery store to save a few bucks.
Frisbee and Gumby hitched to the beer store and Lil’Wayne and Butterfly informed me that the Berkshire South Regional Community Center located down the street was offering a free dinner that day. We all headed over there to eat salad, a cheesy chicken bake and pie. It was a great meal, far better than expected, and I should have taken a picture, but hiker hunger is real. We did our share of hotel drinking that evening and we were relieved to be indoors when a thunderstorm rolled through.

McBlazin’ Passed Ponds
We decided we would be McBlazin’ our next resupply, so Frisbee, Gumby, and I got lunch at McDonald’s then packed out 10 McDoubles each.

We danced our way into a hitch back to the trail and cruised along with our newfound Tramily. It was a super muggy day, so we weren’t surprised to get rained on as we made our way to Mt Wilcox North Shelter. It was actually a little refreshing. I passed several ponds on the way, and saw a beaver swimming in the last one.

Upper Goose Pond Cabin
We were on a mission to make it to Upper Goose Pond Cabin after hearing great things. Most of us got stuck at Jerusalem Road, where there was a snack stand set up with cold drinks.

We were starting to see a lot of SOBOers during our hike, and met a few at the cabin.

After claiming a bunk, Frisbee, Gumby and I floated around the pond, which was quite relaxing.

Our crew and others showed up little by little. Ruth, Jay, and their daughter (the caretakers) made a lot of food for dinner and shared it with everyone in the cabin. It was delicious! I miss salads.

We helped them bring the bags of duff up the hill and dumped it in the bins for them. I was fascinated by their unique privies.

I enjoyed my stay, but had a rough night of sleep due to the fact that the guy on the top bunk above me was flailing around and yelling like he was being attacked by fire ants all night long.

Errors and The Cookie Lady
Ruth’s daughter made everyone coffee and pancakes, some with wild blueberries. We all were moving super slow since we were all really enjoying our stay!

It was time to get moving though. At one point during our hike we started noticing signs approving snowmobiles, ATV’s and dirt bikes.

We made a wrong turn. First mistake. Then we saw hikers and started heading in the same direction as them. Second mistake. They were SOBOers. We didn’t realize this until our buddy Bobo crested the hill towards us.
We all decided to stay at the “Cookie Lady’s” place, but first stopped by the side of the road where we found a cooler of beer. We chatted with the Cookie Lady and Roy, the guys helped them with some minor chores, then we slowly set up our tents and hammocks. Bobo and Bubba’s buddy met all of us down the street where we drank a few beers before turning in.

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