17-18th July

23.5 miles

Kay Wood Shelter (1565.7) to Wilbur Clearing Shelter (1589.2)

From our campsite to the town of Dalton it was an easy 3 mile hike. Thumper and I found ourselves inside a cafe eating breakfast just after 8am.

Earlier we dumped our packs at the hotel. While I was conservative in my consumption of calories Thumper was not. He ordered two full plates of Western omelets (that’s 6 eggs), 4 slices of toast, 2 serving of country fried potatoes and 4 cups of coffee.

It was 3 mile return walk to the grocery store and sporting goods store. Thumper needed new shoes and I needed a small amount of food for a resupply and loads of fresh fruit. A car stopped after half a mile of hiking. It was Tom, a well known local trail angel who has been helping hikes for about 30 years. We were shuttled all over town to get our town chores completed. What a kind gentleman. 

We were returned to our hotel around 11am and promptly invited to a BBQ lunch by the hotel staff. We had just enough time to shower and throw our clothes in the washing machine. I sat at the table wearing only my rainpants in true hiker trash fashion. Nobody seemed to mind.

The wifi at the hotel was so slow I could have sent a letter and it would hate arrived quicker than any emails. As a result my planned zero day evaporated. With only 3 miles hiking we would be back on trail hiking the next day. My body felt strong despite being desperate to just stop and rest for a couple of days or weeks or months.

It was less than 10 miles to Chester town. It promised a short 2 minute detour off the trail to a gas station which had a Dunkin Donuts. If you think there are a lot of resupply options on this trail then you are correct. There are times when I don’t need to carry much food, but stupidly I do.

We pushed on up hills and down hills, through mud and over rocks. The further north I hike the more I’m starting to see things like Beaver Dams. I haven’t seen any beavers yet but I might get lucky.

As my time in Massachusetts comes to an end it threw in one mighty large obstacle, its highest mountain, Mt Greylock. For the first time in a long time I had great views of rolling hills that stretched off in all directions. Thumper and I were buzzing from the views, or was it the Coke we bought in the lodge at the summit. I also met up with another hiker Two Times that I hadn’t seen since Harpers Ferry some 500 miles ago. Wow, that seems so long ago but it was only about a month ago.

The nearest campsite was a couple of miles away and it was getting late. Thumper, Two Times and I pushed on and set up camp just before sunset. 

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