Friday, July 17, 2015

Day 107- Wonderfully Difficult Massachusetts

July 17, 2015
Glen Brook Shelter(1513.1) to Tom Leonard Shelter(1527.4) 14.3 Miles

As you can see from above, I started a new section on my Guthook app. I always get really excited by this. Any little thing that helps me gage progress is a good motivator for me. 

Today was exciting for many reasons. I had two packages at the post office, one at a local restaurant, and a family friend was meeting me in town. I had a great eight mile hike into Great Barrington. The first 3.5 miles was very challenging. It was all downhill over very steep rocks. It's really hard to get enough traction to get down them safely. They also take a lot of strength out of my legs. I was so focused on making it down safely, that I forgot to take pictures. I did however get a great early morning view of the mountains. 
Out of camp by 6:30 made for a great view

The next 4.5 miles into town were fantastic. I walked through an amazing pine forest that was relatively flat and I was able to make up time. The pine forests are my favorite type of forest. They just seem magical to me. 

Very straight section of trail(doesn't happen very often)

I made it to the trailhead right on schedule. Sandy, my sister-in-laws Aunt, drove 2 hours to come and visit me. I greeted her with a smelly hug and was rewarded with a Mt. Dew and snickers bar. She shuttled me into town so I could run my errands. The first stop was the post office. My brother had sent me new shoes, in which I was in great need of. 
R.I.P 5th pair of shoes. You served me well (673 miles)

I also had an amazing care package from Cherokee and Mrs. Cherokee. He had individually wrapped each item with Christmas wrap. He called it Christmas in July, I called it amazing trail magic. 
Awesome care package

Sandy had brought sodas, fruit, and water for trail magic. In our hurry to get to town we forgot to set it out, so we drove back to the trailhead to leave it out. We went back to town for lunch at, Gypsy Joint. A super cool restaurant in the center of town. One of my blog followers, Barb Kessel, had left me a care package there yesterday. She said it was a fantastic place and she was spot on. The portions were gigantic and super tasty. I had a burger with cheddar, bacon, carmalized onions, Mac and Cheese, served with potato chips on top. They called it, The PMS with blue balls. The blue balls was a blueberry cake dippied in chocolate. I washed it all down with an iced latte and a beer. 
PMS with blue balls

Barb's care package was fantastic. A huge serving of brownies, Belgium chocolate, and two kinds of bug spray. Have I mentioned how horrible the mosquitos are here? 
Thanks Barb!!!!

In my excitement to see Sandy and to pick up my packages, I totally forgot to send a few things home while I was at the PO. Sandy drove me back over so I could get that done. 

Sadly, it was time to return to the trail. I was really tempted to go home with Sandy, but I stayed strong. I have a zero day planned for my birthday on Wednesday, and I have a lot of miles to hike and not a lot of time to get them done. 

Once we returned to the trailhead, we left out soda and fruit for any thru-hikers that were still behind. I heard from several people later on, how much they appreciated it. Thanks again, Sandy!!! It was a great visit and I hope we can meet up for Mt. Greylock. 
Aunt Sandy

I was back on trail by 2:30. The only problem was my pack was super heavy and the terrain was very difficult. I had a very strenuous, rock step-type, uphill. I only had to hike 6.4 miles, but it took me forever. I had trouble keeping down my giant lunch too. After struggling uphill with my monster pack for two hours, I carefully picked my way downhill for an hour and a half. I was so relieved to finally make it to the shelter, that I almost cried. I ate brownies and peanut butter for dinner. Then I passed out brownies to all of the other hikers at the shelter. I might have to change my trail name to, Brownie Lady. Barb, everyone says thank you. Cherokee, I cut up your "1" brownie and divided it up into breakfast portions. 

Massachusetts is kicking my butt. However, I realize that it is great training for White Mountain National Forest(the Whites) in New Hampshire. I would rather learn how to safely get down steep rocks at this elevation, than at the top of Mt. Washington. 

Thanks for all of the trail magic today!!!!

"Your journey is completely yours. It is unique. Others may try to steal part of it, tell it in their words or shape it to suit them. Reality is no one can live it or own it but you. Take charge of your journey, it's yours and yours alone!" -Kemi Sogunle


  1. Love your morning picture - such a gorgeous sky! Hooray for new shoes:). Glad you've made it to a new state!

  2. Glad you had lunch there, love that place!
    It surely was a lovely day in the Berks

  3. Your birthday and Xmas came early!! No wonder your pack is heavy. You will be on a sugar high for days.
    The walk through the pines probably seemed magical, nicest pictures.
    Glad the visit with Sandy worded out. Hopefully, the hiker smell didn't keep her from enjoying lunch. Thanks Sandy for seeing Yoda and doing trail magic.
    Be careful out there! LY

  4. I'm surprised you didn't yak all over the trail after your snack + lunch with latte and a beer lol. Probably not a great combo on a hot day. I can't believe how much ice cream you put away on some days, esp with beer lol.