Beaker and 1st Sgt, are still hiking through the wonderful state of Massachusetts. On June 24 they traveled 15.8 miles making their way to a favorite spot of many thru-hikers – Upper Goose Pond Cabin. The cabin is owned by the National Park Service and is managed by the Appalachian Mountain Club. It offers hikers bunks with mattresses, a fantastic lake for swimming and canoeing, and best of all pancakes for breakfast (a great memory of mine). Squire, a fellow hiker, and his two sons Stretch and Remix (14 and 12 years old) arrived at the cabin late that night after putting in a 25 mile day. Beaker and 1st Sgt. had a pleasant visit with them over the breakfast flapjacks.Beaker is beginning to experience some of the boredom of the trail. Because it is very dangerous to look up while hiking with all the rocks and roots that want to trip you, you begin to see the same terrain day after day. Beaker shares it this way, “Lately, walking in the woods is how we get from Point A to Point B. We’ve seen the rocks. We’ve seen the trees. We’ve seen the views. And most days, I don’t even know what day it is. Our clothes all have holes. Our backpacks smell bad. Our feet hurt and our pleats aren’t as crisp. Excitement now is a roadside stand that sells Mt Dew.”
June 25 was a great day on the trail. The two hikers covered 20.6 miles from Upper Goose Pond to the Shamrock Inn in Dalton, MA. At 10.8 miles, they stopped at the home of the Cookie Lady. She and her husband have been feeding cookies to thru-hikers for the past 30 years. I thoroughly enjoyed my short visit here on my trek across Massachusetts with hiking buddy Greg.
At about mile 14 Beaker came upon Rob Byrd and his friend Nancy handing out trail magic from his van. When they arrived in Dalton and checked in their room at the Shamrock, they were met by none other than Rob Byrd again,who offered to drive them over to Pittsfield for dinner since all the restaurants in tiny Dalton were closed for the evening. After dinner and back at the inn, they were joined by Squire and the Boys.
June 26 – an opportunity presented itself to allow Beaker to make a quick trip to TN, so he will be off trail for a few days. Squire, Remix, and Stretch are heading to Johnson City, TN, and offered Beaker a ride. Johnson City is just a short bus ride to Knoxville, so Beaker decided to rest his sore feet, do some Honey Do things around the house, and enjoy some time with his wife.
Beaker, Squire and the Boys drove for about six hours and got a room for the night in Martinsburg, WV. After a fairly short night at the Knights Inn, they were on the road, reached Johnson City about 1:45 pm then after a short and uneventful bus ride Beaker arrived in Knoxville for a couple of zero days.
“I am happy to be home once again with Marguerite and the dogs. She already has a honey do list started for me and I have to do a few things like replace broken or lost equipment and find new shoes. I imagine the time at home will pass pretty quickly.”