What is this blog about?

My name is Lori. In August, 2014, I plan to hike the Camino de Santiago trail. Feel free to join me on my adventure by following me on this blog.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It has been a good week so far since Chris left. After my two days off, I was energized. I did 20 miles my first day back on trail. I passed up the campsite I had originally planned to stop because it was too early to call it a day. I hiked to upper goose pond cabin. I didn't read the specifics in the guide book, and just figured it was a normal shelter. I was very happy to see that it was an actual enclosed cabin. I got to sleep on a bunk with a mattress! What a great surprise at the end of a long day. There are care takers at the cabin who baked cookies for us at bedtime and made delicious pancakes in the morning for breakfast. There are also canoes available to take out on the pond, but I didn't use one. 
Half way through the next day, I stopped at the "cookie lady's" house. It is mentioned in our guidebook, and was perfect timing for a lunch break. The "cookie man" was there to greet me. I picked fresh blueberries from their blueberry farm, which went great with my lunch. We also got a basket of cookies for dessert. The couple also allows hikers to tent in their yard. What nice people! 

The last couple weeks, I have begun to see southbound thru hikers (SOBO). It is fun to talk to them and exchange information. Its really funny that many of them have heard of me and my bear story. All day, SOBO's we're telling me about a great hostel to go to. It was 3 miles past my planned destination, but I decided to be spontaneous, since it worked out so well the day before. I did 21 miles that day to Tom Lavardi's home in Dalton, Massachusetts. He is a retired man who lives in a house right on the trail, so he allows hikers to camp in his yard and stay in his home. I got a shower, laundry done, and a bed to sleep in for the night. It was fantastic! Tom is another example of how awesome some of the people in this hiking community are. He turns down any donation, and also offers shuttles around town. I think he loves the company. 

I hiked out the next day, while most hikers at Tom's decided to take a zero there. This was my third day of hiking solo. Even though I took time off with Chris, most of my hiking buddies took some time off too. With the big miles I put in, I found myself ahead of all my buddies for the first time. Hiking solo has been a great experience. It's good to have alone time sometimes to really think. I arrived at a shelter half way up Mt. Greylock for the night, and I was the only one there. I have never spent the night alone in the woods before, so it was somewhat eerie to think I might be doing that now. I set up camp, and got all my usual camp chores done. I actually set up my tent in the shelter. This way, I can sleep without bugs, but don't have to put my rain fly on. 

After getting all set up, I realized I wasn't really all that uncomfortable being there alone. It's amazing how much this trip has changed my confidence! Before nightfall, other hikers did roll in. The shelter had a lot of room, including an upstairs loft, so I kept my tent where it was, and we all had a great time. The company was nice, but it was also nice to know that I would have been okay alone as well. Two SOBO's stayed in the shelter with me, and I really liked them. Too bad we only cross paths once. 
The next day, I hiked out and made the summit of Mt. Greylock early. The mountain was covered in a thick cloud, so I was disappointed to not get to see the view. It is Massachusetts highest peak. It is also the beginning of bigger climbs again on the trail for me. I believe this is the first time I have climbed over 3000 ft since Virginia. With all the pine and the balsam fur near the top of the mountain, all I could think of all morning was that everything smelled like Christmas. It was so great!
I made it a short 10 mile day into a motel where I had a package waiting for me. 
I went to a restaurant for dinner and ran into some other hikers who asked me to join them. As we got talking, my bear encounter came up in conversation. One of the other hikers had stayed at the Jenkins shelter the night after I was there and had a bear climb on my tent. He said that there were warnings at the shelter already, and a ranger came up to warn them as well. As they sat in the shelter discussing what they would do if the bear came, sure enough, they got a visit from the bad news bear itself! I had not seen the bear who sat on me. I was so excited to hear he got a picture! I finally got to see "my" bear. 

...looks like a nice place to set up a tent....until...
So there you have it. I knew it was not a small bear, but I'm really glad I didn't see how big it was until now!! Yikes!
After close to a week hiking solo, I am being lazy in my motel room until checkout time. I will meet up with part of my "walking wounded" group later today after a short hike again. Hopefully Sparky will be there too! He unfortunately got Lyme disease from a tick bite, and it set him back a few days to recover. A lot of my fellow hikers have contracted Lyme. It is a scary, but common thing in these parts. I am staying true to my permethrin and deet! Fingers crossed, I will get through my hike without these nasty ailments. 

Miles hiked: 1587.6
Miles to go: 596.6


  1. Way to go Lori! You sound fantastic. What an experience of growth for you. I hiked Mt. Greylock with a friend a few years back. I love hearing about the people you meet. So cool.

  2. Sounds like you are having such a wonderful time! And you look so good!! I can't believe you are in Vermont!! It looks so beautiful and woodsy! I bet it does smell wonderful...it reminds me I haven't been in the mountains for a very long time.

  3. Hey Lori...I really look forward to your facebook posts, your pictures and your blog. I miss you so much and am really praying that you will return to us at LWR. It is just not the same without you. What an amazing life experience for you, and a dream come true. Do you even realize how many lives you have touched with your stories? We are living your dream through you. Thanks so much. Love you, Kelly (your "other" mom!)