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 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.
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