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15th July

17.2 miles

Benedict Pond (1530.9) to Upper Goose Pond Cabin (1548.1)

I had a bit more energy when I set off hiking, more than I’d had in recent days. My mind was also more focused than it had been in recent days. I think I must have been suffering from a minor illness. Not so bad that it would normally be noticeable but when busting out 10-12 hours of exercise everyday it was energy sapping.

appalachian trail
As I move further north on the Appalachian Trail I’m noticing small subtle changes in the trail. In Massachusetts there is an increase in mud and tree roots on the trail. Seemingly preparing us for the mud of Vermont, at least that is what I’m led to believe.

appalachian trailappalachian trail
Today I chose to take note of the small things on the trail, the mushrooms. I don’t eat mushrooms. I never liked them. But I do like looking at them in nature and the recent rains and high humidity in Massachusetts has hundreds of varieties sprouting next to the trail.

I must have stopped to photograph 30 different types. From bright coloured to dull, large and small I stopped on a regular basis. I was buzzing from mushroom to mushroom on the trail. Several hikers passed me as I lay sprawled on the ground to get a good angle. My inner photographer came out.

fungus appalachian trailvasque shoesfungus appalachian trailfungus appalachian trailfungus appalachian trailmushroomsmothrural appalachian trailAt a small road crossing there was a sign mentioning a small store nearby. I looked 100 meters downhill to see Thumper and a couple of other hikers sitting at a picnic table. An enterprising young lad that lives in a farmhouse was selling Coke, chocolate and other snacks. It was like something from a Hollywood movie with some kids selling home made lemonade. For $1 a can I couldn’t say no. I even got to dump my rubbish. If the enterprising young lad started selling burgers he’d make a small fortune.

coke break appalachian trail
Not a mile later there was a cooler on the trail filled with scones. I didn’t think Americas knew what scones were but I am in New England. All I needed was a cup of tea and the day would be perfect. Well, maybe a TV playing the latest cricket match. Then it would be getting close.

trail magix
Camp for the night was the famed Goose Pond Cabin.

nice shelter

You might be interested in:

The Complete Pacific Great Trail Guide
The Complete Continental Divide Trail Guide
The Complete Appalachian Trail Guide
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

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8 Responses

  1. Ryan P Bowles

    My absolute worst day on my AT thru-hike was this section. Bugs, heat, isolation. Many years later I went back to ‘conquer’ my memory and stayed at Upper Goose Pond. It is truly one of the best places to stay on the trail.

  2. Brent

    I read the title of your post in my RSS feed and thought I was in for a description of some horrible medical malady, especially since the last few posts have mentioned that you weren’t feeling well. I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to learn exactly where you had managed to get a case of horrid creeping ick.

    I was quite relieved that you were instead writing about mushrooms you found along the trail. Nice photos, by the way!

    • BikeHikeSafari

      I guess I could have used a different title. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. Anne

    Haha, I remember on the PCT I met this hiker from Massachusetts or somewhere like that. He had an English accent when he talked. So I asked him where he was from in UK and he said he lives in the States. So I asked: when did you move over from UK? He said he was BORN in MA. So I was: errr, errr… I have never been in Eastern USA, so I have no clue. Hehe 😉 Thanks for the mushrooms 🙂

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Slightly different accents here, it is New England here in Massachusetts.


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