Hiking over Mt. Everett and across Route 7, which led to the Moon in the Pond Farm School, the thru-hiker will come to the town of Great Barrington. The community is actually about 3 miles north of the A.T. but 2 miles toward the town is Guido’s Fresh Marketplace. It is advertised as a great place to resupply featuring organic produce, cold juices and everything a thru-hiker needs to keep on keeping on. And on the 2 mile journey (4 miles round trip!) there is a Grill, a Hot Dog House, and Bagel and Deli. This could be a definite side trip!
The next stop on the path through Massachusetts is the home of the Cookie Lady. Trail mile 1556.3 (about 40 miles from Guido’s) is the Home of the “Cookie Lady.” The home of Marilyn and her husband, Roy, sits 100 yards off the trail and they personify the idea of “trail magic.” The Cookie Lady invites hikers to use her water spigot near the garage door, sign the register on the steps and enjoy some homemade cookies. In season the Cookie Lady has a “pick your own blueberries” spot (at a reasonable rate), as well as soda, ice cream and boiled eggs. A few thru-hikers have left these comments in their journals, “The Cookie Lady was not there but her husband, Roy, handed out a few cookies to the thru-hikers……. ‘the cookie lady’s’ house, a hiker sanctuary owned by an older couple who made us cookies and allowed us to camp on their lawn….Today we stopped at “the cookie lady’s” house outside of Beckett, MA. For years she has been providing fresh cookies to hikers and blueberries when they’re in season. This is just one of many aspects of the trip that make hiking the AT a truly unique experience….Most unusual combination of snacks – 3 homemade cookies, 3 hard boiled eggs, 1 Klondike bar, 1 can of lemonade – the only 4 items on the menu from the Cookie Lady at her home near Becket, MA.” What a neat lady with a great ministry – I look forward to meeting her.
Nine and half miles from the Cookie Lady is the home of Thomas Levardi (mile 1565.8) in Dalton, MA. He is another famous trail angel who lives right on the A.T. as you enter town from the south. The hospitality of Thomas Levardi is legendary. Tom makes a water hose available in his front yard for thirsty thru-hikers, and he allows them to camp in his yard and to sleep on his porch. Although Tom has never thru-hiked himself, he has been hosting hikers for over 30 years. He loves the trail and impacting hikers through his acts of kindness. One thru-hiker wrote in 2012, “I hiked 21 miles into Dalton, MA and stopped at the home of Tom Levardi, a true trail angel. Tom lets hikers stay in his home, shower, and even does their laundry, all for free. I thought I would have to tent out back but Tom invited me into his home for the night.” http://dalelafferty.com/?p=666
Photo of Cookie Lady’s house – http://treediddy.blogspot.com/2012/08/cookie-lady.html