We had a great breakfast of pancakes and coffee early yesterday morning and I hit the trail at 7:00. I was feeling strong from the breakfast and the good conversation with Papa Doc, Gerda, Nancy, and two recent graduates of Dickinson College who are doing a section hike.
It was hot and humid but the mosquitoes were fewer in number than the previous two days. The trail was pretty flat but in a couple of places it was not well marked so I lost some time searching for the trail.
In the morning I ran into the-hiker Shepherd who I had met in Pennsylvania. He hikes in a kilt and is really into contra dancing, so he gets off the trail wherever he can find a dance in a trail town. His search for contra dances causes him to skip around to various locations on the trail so there’s no telling where I’ll see him next.
At noon I reached the Cookie Lay’s house. She was busy eating lunch but her husband, Roy, came out and met me. He gave me a basket with cookies in it and I bought a Coke, a Klondike Bar and four boiled eggs, which they sell to hikers. That’s all you have to choose from so that’s what I had for lunch. I wasn’t sure how the boiled eggs would sit with me but they were fine.
In the afternoon the heat really got up there – low 90’s I think. I could hear thunder rumbling off to the west so I really picked up my pace and made it into the town of Dalton at 4:00, an hour ahead of schedule. I checked in to the Shamrock Inn and had an early dinner at Jacob’s Pub down the street. There was a nice older couple sitting next to me at the bar and we had a good conversation. It turns out she is the former postmistress for the town and she told me all about the history of the town. I’ll put a picture if her and her husband below.
During dinner the bad weather arrived with lightning, thunder, heavy winds and rain, and even a little hail. Fortunately it did not last long and I was able to get a few supplies (more Rice Krispies Bars) and then get a shower and do laundry. I really needed to clean everything up after five hot days on the trail.
I’m leaving at 5:30 this morning to head to Williamstown so that I can get there early in case there are more afternoon storms. I will climb Mt. Greylock today, which is the highest mountain in Massachusetts at 3,491 feet. There should be some great views up there.