Wednesday, July 20, 2016 9:59 pm
Location: Main Rd / Tyringham / Jess Treat's Hostel (1541.2 miles)

For breakfast, Jess made eggs for everyone that was there. I also had juice and hot chocolate (which was pretty awesome, since it was a bit cool this morning). She dropped me off at the trailhead at just after 8, and I got started on a 20.6 mile slackpack to Main Rd in Tyringham.

It was cooler today than yesterday (a blessing), though there was a bit less of a breeze, and it was a little more humid. The trail started out mostly flat, as easy of a start as yesterday's end. Quickly, though, the trail turned slightly more rugged as it climbed June Mountain. Aside from the hills, though, the trail was pretty nice.

View West from East Mountain
View West from East Mountain

I stopped at the Tom Leonard Shelter after 6.4 miles for my first break. I almost forgot my water bottle there; fortunately, I realized I was missing it when I finished walking back to the AT from the side trail to the shelter, so I didn't have far to go to retrieve it.

On the way to the next shelter, Mt. Wilcox South, 5.3 miles ahead, I passed a place on the trail called "The Ledges". Called out in the guidebook (with no details), and then shown on a sign at the bottom of the hill leading to it, The Ledges seemed to take on a bit of an ominous quality. In actuality, though, it seemed like it was just a series of rock steps, and if it hadn't been named in the guidebook and on a sign, you'd probably have never noticed that there was anything interesting about that section of trail.

Benedict Pond
Benedict Pond

Mt. Wilcox has a shelter on its north face (which I didn't stop at), and two shelters on its south face: an older shelter which I stopped at, and a newer one further down the side trail, which I didn't take a look at. In a nice touch, the log book had a pencil with a sleeve of about 20 different colored leads, so people had taken to writing entries in different colors, or even drawing color pictures in the logbook; some were quite nice. I tried texting Jess to let her know where I was and with an ETA for my arrival at the end of my hike so she could know when to leave to pick me up, but I didn't have signal, a rarity these days.

PondHalfway between Mount Wilcox South/North shelters.

Up to the shelter, the light ruggedness of the trail was not really making my slackpack go faster than a full-pack hike (though it was certainly easier on my legs). After the shelter, though, the trail became a lot nicer, especially as it entered the Tyringham Cobble park. I wound up making such good time that I kept on going past where I had planned to stop for my third break, and instead stopped about 1.6 miles south of where I was supposed to get picked up. Fortunately, this time I had signal, and was able to arrange my pickup.

I reached Tyringham's Main Rd. about 35 minutes later, getting there just after Jess. There was also trail magic, provided by a thru-hiker named Kid and his aunt. They all but forced a Gatorade on me; I wasn't going to take anything at all since I had been slackpacking and was imminently on my way back to the hostel. On the ride back to the hostel, we saw a smallish bear on the side of the road.

I happened to notice that Jess had a scale, so I weighed myself, and found that my weight continues to appear steady; I'm down only about 6-7 pounds from where I was when I started my hike.

I ordered pizza for dinner, and while I was eating, reworked my plan for the next few days. Instead of doing a resupply here, I'll be using the rest of the food I have and getting food and snacks as I go through the towns ahead (Dalton and Cheshire), so I can keep my pack weight down and not have to do a full resupply until I reach North Adams, the last trail town in Massachusetts. That day's going to wind up being a short day, and I'm still a bit unclear what I'm going to do that day after resupplying. I've got a few days to figure that out, though.

Tomorrow: tenting at the "Cookie Lady"'s farm.