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In Massachusetts – The Trek

I am now well into New England and have now traveled through Connecticut in just over three days. Crossed the Mass Turnpike this morning and now towards Mt Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts.

Connecticut

I really enjoyed the AT in this condition. The walking was certainly not easy with steep terrain such as St John’s Ledge and Bear Mountain. There were also some easier sections along the Housatonic. I’ve hiked CT with Nu Knee, a hiker with a similar pace and endurance to me, so we’re a good fit. Plus, he’s a nice guy on top of that. See image below.

We benefited from some real magical help from Christine, a hiker from the local section who enjoys helping other hikers. She encouraged us to break up one of our hiking days and picked us up after a morning hike, took us into Kent so we could have lunch and shopping, and returned us to the trailhead later in the afternoon so we could continue our hike . trip. There are many so-called trail angels like Christine who enjoy helping hikers and expect little in return, perhaps modest financial compensation.

A nature update from CT. No more rattlesnake sightings, but instead we saw two copperheads – see image below. Besides, I have yet to see a bear and I am clearly in the minority among hikers.

Massachusetts so far

I’m not done hiking MA yet, but I’m making good progress. Mount Greylock, the state’s tallest mountain, is on the agenda tomorrow. I’m going for a Greylock walk with two friends. Dave Hooper has joined me for more than three days of hiking through the Berkshires, and Anton Dreslin plans to meet us at the summit for a short hike together. I feel lucky to be able to walk so close to my hometown and to have such good friends who support my walk. See photo below of the Mt Greylock massif from the south. This will be the highest mountain I have climbed so far on my trip.

My main trail angel, wife Michele, gave myself and Nu Knee a huge lift when we decided to head to Great Barrington for a night to do laundry, grocery shopping and shower. She was on her way to our summer cottage in Maine, but offered to go to Great Barrington to see me. She picked us up at an intersection, took us to the Barrington Brewery for lunch, took us to our hotel and then took us to the supermarket. The simple things that make a thru-hiker so happy. I’ll see Michele again in VT in a few days. The next morning we got a ride from a local shuttle driver named Joe, a super nice guy, and very willing to help. My next update will be from Vermont.

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