Well, I am easily out of Connecticut and on my way out of Massachusetts. There is not much to say about Connecticut. It was short and sweet. A couple of great climbs on my way out of the state left me glad to be in a hotel in Great Barrington, MA. It was a Comfort Inn and they had a hot tub. So, after a wonderful dinner at the nearby Mexican Restaurant, Spice Rack and I headed to the hot tub. Three Cats offerred to do our laundry and we got done at the pool and hot tub in time to put our wet clothes in with our laundry! It felt great to sit and relax. A huge THANK YOU goes out to Spice Rack's father who sprung for the rooms. He is a great trail angel as is Spice Rack for inviting the rest of us along on his visit with his father!
The altitude is getting back up there. The mosquitos and the humidity are reminding me why I live in Colorado! Pretty much every day I am dripping sweat from my chin and elbows due to the climbs and the humidity. It is pleasant. I have made a few more town stops as they are near the trail and being able to eat real food is a necessity these days.
Currently, I am sitting in Dalton, MA taking a much needed day off. To anyone reading this and thinking of doing the trail, be sure to schedule plenty of rest days towards the end. Many people are ready to be done with the trail as am I. It leads to injury as people push themselves harder than they have in the past just to get done. There is a huge mental game to be played after having walked, ambled, and stumbled along for 1500miles. The last 600 are physically challenging as well as mentally. Four months of the same old thing day after day needs to be broken up with days to just sit on a bench and stare at the cars and people. Thank goodness there are great people in Dalton, MA who make relaxing possible.
Yesterday, I slack packed from Dalton, where I had lunch after 10miles, to Cheshire, MA. A wonderful man named Rob Bird, who runs a "secret" hiker hostel in Dalton, picked me up from Cheshire and brought me back to his house. Once there, I had a wonderful shower and drank beer while conversing with Rob and another hiker, Bluey. Rob did my laundry before heading out to do his own thing leaving Bluey and I to do our own thing. We basically had his house for the evening. He returned around 10pm and we watched the end of the yankees/red soxs game on TV. It was a very relaxed evening. This morning, I woke up as Bluey was packing to head out on the trail and chatted with him trying to convince him to stay...No Luck! So, I sat and watched TV this morning and thought of my husband while watching The Princess Bride. I sure do miss my honey! After the movie, I wandered down to the General Store and bought a toothbrush (I recently noticed mine was growing mold) and a card. Returned to the house and proceeded to write to my husband while watching more TV. Rob came home briefly and we chatted a bit before he headed off to work again. What a relaxed little place. He offerred his place to my friend and I for tonight as well, which is a wonderful treat. Rob has been a great person who has come into my trail life at the right time.
Somehow, it seems when I am down on the trail and wanting to leave, the right people come along and renew my energy. Yesterday, sitting outside of the sub shop while my hiking companions were inside soaking up the AC, a woman approached me and talked to me about my hike. Thru-hikers are pretty noticeable, especially in a town where the trail goes through it. She told me she often hosts hikers and would be willing to take me to her place for the evening. I told her of my plans to hike over to Cheshire and then take today off in Dalton and trying to figure out all of the logistics. She mentioned she had a retreat this weekend and we realized it would not work out, but I thanked her for her generosity. After buying her lunch at the sub shop, she came out and slipped me a $10bill. I protested, but she insisted and said it was trail magic. She was already to her car, and so I slipped the $10 into my wallet. Then, I headed to the post office to get my packages. As I was headed there, a gentleman starts walking towards me from the Shell Station. He introduces himself to me as Rob. I had heard of him back in NY/NJ area from a guy who hiked last year. So, I talked to him about my plans and he offerred to pick me up from Cheshire. He got me settled at his place and then I headed back to meet the guys to head to Cheshire. It was nice hiking without my pack for 9miles. The view from the Cobbles was beautiful. I wished I could have hung up there longer, but had told Rob to pick me up in Cheshire at 5:30pm. For those of you who know me, I hate making people wait as I do not like having to wait for people. So, I made sure I was down there by 5:15pm. As I was walking toward the post office, he was coming down the street. It was perfect timing.
Anyway, between the lady on the street and Rob, I have a renewed energy to keep going up the trail. Tonight, Rob and his band are playing in a nearby town and he has offerred to take my friend, Tricia, and I with him if we want. I am looking forward to hearing some good music, but am not sure what Tricia will be up for doing. It will be nice to be in a relaxed place again for the evening and to be back on the trail tomorrow. Dalton, MA is a magical town full of many nice people. I have not met all of them, so I cannot say if they are all nice or not! So far, I have been very impressed and recommend making a stop here to anyone coming through the area or hiking the trail. It has been my fountain of youth! Thank you Dalton, MA.
My love and thoughts continue to go out to my husband. I also want to thank everyone who has been supportive of me along the trail. My aunt Carol, cousin Erin, and Jaime sent me a great package of food filled with love! It was great and I am still bouncing things forward. Thank you Holly for the little bit of love you put in my package. Those will come in handy to numb the pains that come along the trail these days! I miss everyone lots and think of many of you (at least the people I know) often on the trail. There isn't much else to do when walking miles a day through the woods and across mountains. Thank you for your support and I look forward to the next 600miles of adventure.