Miles from Springer Mountain: 1601.3
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 590.7
It’s been a “YUGE” three days! I’ve passed the 100 day mark, crossed into Vermont, surpassed 1600 miles, and have less than 600 miles left – lots of boxes being checked! These few minor accomplishments are big spirit boosters, especially in parts of the trail where motivation is becoming more and more crucial. With crossing into VT I have hiked through 10 of the 13 Appalachian Trail states.
The 9th was a comfortable day, the terrain wasn’t too rough and I hiked past a couple beautiful lakes – the trails in MA are extremely well-maintained and well-marked. I didn’t know it at the time, but one of the shelters I hiked past has a caretaker that makes blueberry pancakes for hikers in the morning – bummer! I made it to October Mountain with big plans to enter both Dalton and Cheshire, MA the next day.
I woke up early and hiked fiercely fast to get to Dalton early, I had heard about a free shower spot and a local laundromat, I considered it chore day. For those of you keeping track of my gross factor, at this point it has been exactly two weeks since my last shower and laundry, don’t worry it’s been my longest stretch. The shower was refreshing, the local community building caters to hikers and I’m grateful for their help. The laundry was not to be – after hiking about a mile and half out of the way I discovered that the one laundromat in town happens to be closed on Mondays, what luck! I guess just a few more days in dirty clothes will have to do.
Feeling a little disgusted, but slightly cleaner I hiked onward towards Cheshire. One of the local churches in town allows hikers to tent on their property, I was able to take respite from the impending rain. In town I did a small resupply and enjoyed the local Dunkin Donuts, it’s the little things! Today also marked 100 days on trail, the second half has definitely been a lot slower than the first. I’m thankful that I don’t have 100 days left, but it serves as a reminder to embrace every day on trail – something that has been harder and harder to do lately.
I woke up on the 11th moving a little slowly, it had rained all night and I wasn’t extremely motivated, but as I stirred the rain stopped and I set my mind to the goals ahead. Today was a big day – I knew I’d cross into Vermont and hit some major mileage goals. The trail made me earn it, I woke up to a 2500 foot climb up Mt. Greylock, descended 2800 feet midday, then finished with a 2000 foot climb! Through it all I pushed forward and made the mileage, I was exhausted by the end, but at least I was in Vermont!
The final three states will be a heck of a lot tougher than the middle 5, but I’m ready to keep pushing! Thanks for following along, enjoy some Ben & Jerry’s in my honor!