Week 13 Trekking into New England!!
Day 86 was another 23.2 mile day. My wife’s cousin Madeline and her husband, Karl, meet us at the RPH Shelter with some awesome trail magic! Subs, chips, fruit, beers and sodas! A special treat of a frozen quart of Boice’s ( hometown dairy) eggnog was my special reward. With the warm temps it quickly became a glorious slushy, giving me a scant 560 needed calories. Flip-flopper SLO-dog didn’t even have to yogi to be a benefactor in the evening.s feast. Thanks guys—you’re awesome. They even hiked up a hill a half mile to get a feel for the trail.
Was a plus marathon day of 26.2 miles. New York continued it’ theme of beauty and ruggedness which delighted me being a former New York (Catskills mountains) native. I’ll never look at the southern part quite the same, and I mean it in a complimentary and fond way.
Finally getting us some New England, we walked 19.7 miles into Connecticut. Another wonderful state, and two trail firsts on this journey. A robust and healthy four- to five-foot timber rattlesnake in the morning and a nice female black bear sauntered right up to me in the early evening! Can you believe I went through Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York and get to Connecticut to see a bear? Incredulous and way cool too!
Another spectacular spring day we crossed under the 700 mile to Kathadin mark! This was a casual 18-mile day with tons of lady slippers and pinkster bloom azaleas. A quick word about this sleepy little town, Falls Village. It’s a must stopover, being only three-tenths off the trailhead. Miss Pat at the package store was a doll and loves hikers. We bought some adult beverages from her, charged our phones, and ordered pizza. Next we were granted permission to tent behind Toymakers and had an amazing breakfast here the next morning. Quaint and perfect summed up our visit.
We had three arduous climbs out of Falls Village to Hemlock Shelter. 20.8 miles on the day brought about two more milestones—1,500 backpacked miles and our 11th state, Massachusetts.
Was somewhat arduous because we seemed to have tired legs from yesterday and another handful of short steep climbs, we persevered and finished the day with 22 miles at North Wilcox Mountain Shelter. Eight miles into our day we shot into Great Barrington for a power bar candy bar resupply for today and tomorrow. Taking full advantage of a local (GB Eats) diner we had a great lunch. We were fortunate to hitch a couple rides to and from town to save on leg mileage.
Day 92 Nero
Again, forgetting what a nero actually is we cruised into Lee with a short 16-mile hike. Our big surprise was the tramily (minus Merica) reunites about 200 yards short of Interstate 90 in Lee. ( Merica is enjoying a nero with his dad.) Ahh, hot showers, laundry, soft bed, and a resupply, and new trail runners for Farmer. Now we can enjoy an evening in town and catch up with my friends and former NY neighbors Don and Rita. Thanks guys for all the goodies—especially the cider doughnuts.
My return to New England was full of pleasant surprises. Though NY is not New England the transition from mountain range to mountain range was both rugged and beautiful. Onward and upward we go back to the deciduous and conifer forests I grew up in is of great comfort and familiarity to me.
Making tracks north. Happy trails y’all!
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