Back into the Mountains

Having returned to the AT from Norwalk, I quickly made my way through the rest of CT. Too quickly perhaps, while I picked up a maildrop in Salisbury CT, I had lost my wallet. I was almost a full day outta town when I realized it, my wallet is normally in my pocket along with a phial of hand sanitizer so I was quite frustrated I hadn’t noticed sooner. I pushed forward to the next road that I could walk or hitchhike back to prowl around town looking for my wallet. It took a while, but a few miles into the roadwalk I got picked ip by a pair of friendly stoners, who after hearing my story, signed on to give me a round trip. Back in town it didn’t take long, one of the staffers at Peter Beck’s had found it outside, and lucky I look similarly disheveled in my ID as I do having hiked some 1500 miles, so there was no question it was mine. To celebrate not having to cancel my credit cards I bought my new friends crossaint before they whisked me back to trail, crisis easily averted.

While working out my wallet troubles, I had leap-frogged with a recently started flip-flopper going by the name of First Day or something, because of his fresh enthusiasm when met by tired NOBOs, that name couldn’t last though. After I left him behind he picked up the name Sideshow because he was rocking a very sideshow Bob aesthetic, he was a huge goofball and would’ve been fun to spend a little more time nearby. Some other thru-hikers of note from the third quarter of the AT, Not Yet, who could almost be a body double for Ox, and the Diabolical Duo, a father & son team with a catch, the son is only eight years old. The dad had just retired from the Navy, and pulled his kid from school for the spring, but was determined not to let him fall behind, so I’d come up on them practicing multiplication tables, state capitals, or what have you.

MA was the last of the really quick states on the AT, I turned my guide page and found a note scrawled in next to the marker for upper goose pond cabin reading, “Pancakes!” I pushed a couple days to position myself so it wouldn’t be either too early to stop or too far to make it in before dark. I didn’t have high hopes, this wasn’t the first note my guide had hinting at illusory food allong the trail, I remember hearing stories of missionaries who would keep feeding you as long as you kept hearing them out, but they’d moved away years prior. So I was very much pleasantly surprised to find what was more hostel than shelter, just in the woods, and they had one bunk left, just waiting for me. Stayed up late listening to a fiddler play us into the night, it was a welcome respite from all our long walks. Set out late the next morning, picked up my next ration box from the cookie lady, and continued the previous night’s trend of relaxing. Helped her move some plants’n things, got a hold of Nemo to work out some more dropboxes going into VT and NH, and watched a lot of chickens roaming about.

I was also able to get in touch with Greylock, who lives nearby to the northernmost  mountain in MA, and carries the same name. We set up to meet at the summit lodge, and I well… totally shirked setting my self up for an easy day, sometimes you just gotta mess with future-you. I was practically running though, kept beating my time estimates and the foolishly rewarding myself by stopping for food. Particularly at a couple places Greylock had recommended, got stupid lucky and both places when locals bought my food, so life lesson learned: shirk responsibilities, it’ll be okay. On the way up to the lodge I ran into Greylock waiting at a road crossing, bearing figs, apricots, date bars, and some beer local to the Berkshires. The lodge had been closed when he made it up there, but he’d managed to find me so we caught up with eachother briefly, before I went on my way to make camp. On a whim I tried the lodge door, and someone came and let me in, gave me a bunk, and a shower, the caretaker even let me dine with him and some of his friends who were there for a Ham radio competition. It was far fancier than anything one would’ve expected from a night on the AT, and way above my hiker trash pay grade.

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