As of tonight, we have hiked 1584.6 miles since we left Springer Mountain, Georgia on March 14th. Hard to believe. Today we hit a big milestone - we went under the magic mark of 600 miles left to go til we reach our destination - Mt. Katahdin, Maine. I know it sounds like a lot still to go, but not to us. We know we can hike about a hundred miles per week.
Today we spent the first four miles of the day hiking into another trail town, Cheshire, Massachusetts, but there wasn't much right on the road we traveled through town, and we didn't really want to waste much time because we knew we had the makings of a possibly long day in store. So we hiked straight through Cheshire, stopping once for fresh water from the spigot on the side of a hiker friendly ice cream shop, and once again when we grabbed quick Cokes and snacks at a Shell station.
The street we travelled down had American flags flying from the utility poles, but the wind had wrapped some of them around the flag poles, so Keith and Swamprat used their trekking poles and unwrapped all of the flags as we hiked by. They certainly left Cheshire looking better than how they found it!
From Cheshire, we immediately started an eight mile long climb to the top of Mt. Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts. Luckily, it was mostly a gradual ascent, with nothing too steep, and we made good time. The weather was nice and cool and breezy. We passed some kids who were from a camp in upstate New York at one point. A lot of them were from Great Britain, and were spending their entire summer at camp in America. I can not imagine what that must cost!
We reached the lodge at the Summit, and went inside to relax for a while. We had made much better time than we expected. We had all guessed what time we'd get to the top by. Swamprat had guessed 1:30, I guessed 2:45, and Keith said 4:00. We just really didn't know how we'd handle the eight-mile climb. We ended up getting there around 2:15, so we did great! We had tons of time to relax, eat a bite, and even do some strategic planning about the hikes over the upcoming weeks, and made some reservations.
James showed up and joined us. He and I later climbed up the observation tower and had a great 360-degree view, and caught our first views of the Green Mountains of Vermont, which we will enter tomorrow. We also could see the Adirondacks, the Berkshires, and the Catskills. It was a beautiful view!
About 5:00, we decided we had better get started to camp, which was still almost 4 miles away, and we all headed down the mountain, arriving 2 hours later at Wilbur Clearing Shelter, which has some raised wooden tent platforms, which are really nice. We have not camped on those before.
Keith just gave me the news that after we hike 3 miles in the morning, we will pass a Friendly's Restaurant, and they serve breakfast! I may have trouble sleeping tonight - too excited! I'm going to dream about omelettes! Good night everyone!
- Steady and F100