Our hike through Massachusetts was a reintroduction to some higher elevation, which we haven't seen for awhile. After a long climb a few days ago, we were treated to some magnificent views of Massachusetts. My phone pictures can't adequately capture most views, but I liked this picture of the morning clouds over the valley.
We camped one night at the site of an old Shaker settlement. It was interesting to read the history of the site and see a stone wall remnant from the settlement.
The next day, we had a shorter hike of ten miles and spent the afternoon relaxing at the Upper Goose Pond cabin. The cabin host volunteers treated all the hikers to a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and coffee.
The trail took us through the small town of Dalton, MA, where we passed Crane & Co. the factory where the paper for all US currency originates.
Goofing off a bit on the trail, some of us stopped to climb a tree.
We climbed Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in MA at 3491 feet. There were terrific views of the Green, Catskills, and Taconic mountain ranges.
The Veterans War Memorial Tower at the summit.
We have entered Vermont and realized quickly why it is nicknamed "Vermud."
Although we still have almost six hundred miles to go, we are fast approaching the last quarter of the trail and are beginning to feel the pull of Katahdin and the end. Of course, we have the Whites to contend with before then, and as we get closer each day, the excitement of being back in some real mountains is mixed with a little fear of the challenge. Our legs and backs are stronger, but also tired from the wear and tear of 1600 miles. I've developed a nagging foot pain in my left heel that I am trying to treat with stretching and massage. We also slack-packed for two days (hiked without packs, which Miss Janet, a true trail angel brought forward for us). I'm hoping that getting new insoles in a few days will help too.
As I reread my last post, I realized that I had forgotten to mention some trail magic that I received which has been a true blessing: Beth, many thanks to you and Joe for loading and mailing an IPod the same day I asked you. Your response was above and beyond, as always. We miss you!
Next stop Manchester Center, Vermont.