Upper Goose Pond Shelter (1548.1) to Kay Wood Shelter (1565.7)
I woke to the smell of fresh roasted coffee and pancakes. Upper Goose Pond Shelter is no ordinary Appalachian Trail Shelter. The on site caretakers cooked light fluffy pancakes with bottomless coffee for the weary hikers. And we certainly appreciated it. After 4 pancakes and three coffees I hit the trail but not before leaving a donation to ensure magical moments like this will continue for future hikers. Also, I noticed the January copy of Backpacker magazine which had a photo of me at the end of the CDT last year. Check out the back page of you’re a reader. Very cool.
My hiking buddy Thumper and I made it only about two miles before taking a short detour to a lodge for a Root Beer only to find a cooler full of Root Beer on the trail when we returned. That’s 4 Pancakes, 3 coffees and 2 Root Beers, all before 10am.
We continued on fairly easy terrain for a couple of hours till we heard of a place just off the trail. It’s called ‘The Cookie Ladies House’. She serves home made cookies to hikers. With her husband ‘The Cookie Man’, they run a pick your own Blueberry farm, they also sell Coke, Ice Cream and more to hikers. Now I’ve consumed 4 pancakes, 3 coffees, 2 Root Beers, 2 Cookies and 1 Coke.
With about 7 miles of hiking till we reached our intended campsite Thumper and I set off. Most of the conversations involved how lucky we were and how today has been magical and it picked us up from the previous down days. No sooner had we said that. A van in a parking lot as we crossed a road. ‘Do You guys want some trail magic’, they said. A 380 calorie Lemon Cake and another Coke later we got the trail.
‘I think I’ve gained weight today, I said. ‘If this keeps up I’m going to be fat by the time I finish this trail’.
We set up our tents to clear, cool skies. The previous days hardships are all forgotten. The spirit and kindness the follows the Appalachian Trail is something that can only be aspired to and experienced. There is nothing else like it. A thin line on a map that somehow brings out the best in people. The Appalachian Trail is special.