Great Barrington, MA

Hey everyone! Here’s a quick update.

The trail family is missing Rabbi, and Web MD is leaving the trail to go back to school pretty soon.

Day 54- 7/24
Upper Goose Pond Cabin
Robin was picked up by some friends early in the morning to hang out with them in his hometown. He’s planning to come back to the trail where he left off after the weekend, but I’m sure he’ll be able to catch up with us soon enough. After he said goodbye, we stopped at Warner Hill to pick wild blueberries. We talked to a huge group of little girls and their leaders from a summer camp. They hiked up there from a nearby road. They were pretty interested in our thru-hike, and asked a lot of funny questions while we picked berries with them. Also, a nice lady gave us free cookies.

Day 55- 7/25
Shaker Campsite
In the morning, the Upper Goose Pond Cabin’s caretakers made us blueberry pancakes using the blueberries we picked the day before. Web, Magic and I rested and relaxed for the whole morning. Dad was working in eastern Massachusetts this week, so he drove to a nearby road that crosses the trail, and then hiked about 1.5 miles up to the cabin to meet me at about 11am. Dad and I took one of the cabin’s canoes out on the lake next to the cabin, and paddled out to a cool little island in the middle. After we canoed back to the cabin, Magic and Web said goodbye and went on ahead down the trail. (They needed to do a decent amount of miles for the day because they were running a bit low on food.) Dad and I hiked, enjoyed the nice weather, and took plenty of breaks to take in the scenery. We stopped at the top of one hill that overlooked a small town and called I called Mom to catch up; the three of us talked with her on speakerphone and it was like she was there with us. It rained that night but waited to come down hard until we were both inside the tent.

Day 56- 7/26
Great Barrington, MA
In the morning, Dad and I made a plan to hike different directions, with me continuing south, and him hiking back north to his car, but to meet up later in the day. I hiked to a road that leads to Great Barrington, and he drove to meet me there after finishing his hike. I made it to the road just in time to avoid hiking in a huge rain and hail storm. That hike was my first full day of hiking without seeing a single soul going the same direction as me, that is until I met up with Magic and Web MD in town that evening. Dad took me out to eat at a local pizza place that was pretty OK. We traded sleeping bags when he left so that I could have one better suited to the current climate instead of the 20 degree one I started the trip with, and we traded shoes because mine were completely destroyed by the rocky northern states. I know the fresh gear is going to be a huge help, thanks Dad! I wish you could’ve stayed on for the remainder of the trip.

Bennington, VT

Hey all! Jared here, or Banner if you prefer. This is my first post to the trail blog and an update of our hike from Manchester to Bennington.

Our past few days have been somewhat uneventful. We’ve started running into a lot more AT northbounders. This part of the AT coincides with the southern part of Vermont’s Long Trail, so we’ve met quite a few folks thru-hiking the Long Trail as well. I’d love to thru-hike that trail too sometime if I can make a chance.

Even though the glorious, 360-degree, 100-mile visibility views are much less frequent now than in Maine and New Hampshire, the trail is quite beautiful here. The key to enjoying your AT hike in Vermont is to appreciate the beauty of the trail, plants, and rocks all around you, instead of just looking ahead to the next epic mountain-top vista.

Day 47- 7/17/15
William B. Douglas Shelter
6 miles
Magic and the Dirty Boys spent the morning relaxing at the Green Mountain House hostel until around noon. Robin gave me some Darn-Tough socks that he found in a shelter and then washed at the hostel. I’m digging them so far. We hiked only 6 miles to the shelter which was .5 off the trail. Everybody contributed to produce a cozy fire. A nice girl named Heather showed up a little later. She told us that she is planning a Long Trail thru-hike, but that she’s doing weekend trips for now to prepare. Our crew plus Heather stayed up long past sunset swapping stories in the shelter. In fact, Rabbi and I pulled out our best story of all.

Day 48- 7/18/15
Story Spring Shelter
15 miles
Today we learned why some hikers call this state “Ver-mud.” However, it still wasn’t even close to as muddy as much of the trail in Maine was for us. A trail-angel named “Miker the Hiker” and his wife cooked us up some hot dogs and gave us juicy watermelon in a parking lot we arrived at around lunchtime. The Dirty Boys were first to the shelter and so we rolled out our sleeping gear inside, but some northbounders calling themselves “Team Push-Wood” camped just outside and hung out with us until sunset. They were refreshingly positive compared to some of the solo northbounders we’ve met.

Day 49- 7/19/15
Melville Nauheim Shelter
17 miles
Easy day today. I really took my time and enjoyed the good weather. Everybody hiked almost completely separately today. The guys made it to the shelter just before a pretty serious thunderstorm hit, with a heavy downpour. Poor Magic was just a little too late to the shelter, so she got drenched.