Location: Wilbur Clearing
I crossed into Massachusetts today. The border sign was lame. Plays with Bears took a photo of me which he will e-mail to me later. (Kenith Threatte) The picture is lame. Plays with Bears, Bears for short, and I hiked seven miles to Mass. Rt. 2. I accompanied him to North Adams, Mass although my mail drop is in Williamston. I will pick up my mail drop by car in two days. I enjoyed my walk though and around North Adams today. The town fits the description of a New England town that I had in my mind. Houses of all different architectural styles crammed in close quarters. The towns were built in the hillside, into the earth of rolling green hills. There were as many American flags as Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots flags. The garages connected to tall slender houses opened on the sidewalk, and most houses had small porticos for shaking snow from boots and clothes in the cold winter. There were giant factories, dilapidated mills from much earlier times and well-manicured cemeteries with grave stones dating back to pre-Revolutionary War times. The town held much history in its buildings, parks, and numerous churches and chapels. In one section of Main Street, the asphalt had eroded to expose a few feet of old cobblestone road that had been paved over. Plays with Bears and I didn’t stay long in the town, but we will be walking through several in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
We returned to the trail after eating lunch at Friendly’s. We had to leave our packs outside and I couldn’t see them from where we sat. The practice always makes me uncomfortable. I buckled all my straps around the wrought iron bench by the door, hopefully to deter someone from taking it if they were to grab it in a hurry and find it anchored. Bears and I celebrated another state completed with ice cream sundaes. The sundaes didn’t help us getting up Greylock. Greylock Mountain is the highest peak in Massachusetts and the second to last 3000ft mountain that we will climb until the Shenandoah in Virginia. The climb was difficult, but it passed quickly. Bears and I decided to stop at Wilbur Clearing lean-to, only 3 miles outside of town, making today a pathetic 10 mile day. But, it was worth walking through the town. I did however miss Robert Frost’s grave, which is two days behind me in Bennington, VT.
Tomorrow Bears and I will wake up early and hike to Dalton. The 21 miles will not be difficult, but it will of course be long. The trail passes through the town of Dalton, so it would be foolish to pass through without taking advantage of the free hostels and town food. We will take half a day off or so and relax. I desperately need a new pair of shoes. These boots look worse and worse every day, and I want to replace them before they completely disintegrate on the trail and I am forced to hike some distance in my crocs or barefooted.
I have established a new, tentative time table that will probably never hold up. Schedules never do out here. I hope to be through Mass. in five days and through Connecticut in four, putting me in New York by September 1. I hope to spend 13 days hiking though New York and New Jersey and then 17 days hiking through Pennsylvania, hopefully putting me in Harper’s Ferry, WV by October 1. These plans will probably change, but I hope to maintain a good pace. I don’t think I can finish the trail by Thanksgiving, but I can definitely be in NC or TN by then. I am ready to move quickly. I want to see my family and friends. I was sad to hear today that Chris may not be able to visit me on Labor Day weekend because I’ll be in New York and too far north. I’ll make sure that no reasons like that occur anymore because I miss home and the people that make my home. I’ll hurry to the south as fast as I can.