Thursday August 26th, 2021, 0600-1730
Pete’s spring to Father Tom Campsite, SOBO AT mm 612
4058 gain, 4416 loss
My first objective for today was to have a big breakfast in town, a mere 2 miles away. Next was to go up Mt Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts and my second time climbing it. We had added it last year to mark the finish of our Long Trail…a big finale. Today it was just another mountain to get over but I was looking forward to it, especially the cafe on top.
Picky and I both got an early start, walking before it was even fully light out. It’s nice to have found someone that also walks early. In town by 0630 am, we weren’t sure if anything was even open. We walked half a mile off trail to a large grocery store, where I wondered around the empty isles undecided about what to get…too many chiices. For such a big store, their deli section left a lot to be desired. I settled on some yogurt, a really bad California roll, and a 1000 calorie piece of carrot cake. I ate all this outside the store, with my stuff stored inside one of the carts, hobo style. Happy Birthday to me…looks like I’ve succeeded in life.
We finally escaped the vortex of the store only to be pulled in by some trail magic near the school. We drank the obligatory soda and moved on. Next, a dunk in a stream was called for, since it was already getting hot. It was supposed to be over 90 degrees today. The climb was kind of tiring, as such. I remembered it being pretty easy, but that was when the temps were in the 60s.
I put on some music and got in a groove. I made it to the top just after noon and in time for lunch. I didn’t spend much time sightseeing since I’d done so already. But I did get to go inside to the top of the war memorial tower, which had been closed the year before. This was a nice treat but unfortunately the windows were a bit foggy and the skies hazy, so I couldn’t do a whole lot if peakfinding. I could just see Glastenbury mountain, so that was nice.
At the cafe, I had a burger and hard cider. Both were just ok. Picky got me an ice cream bar for my B-day, which was very nice of him. Mostly we just enjoyed taking another break from the heat and charging electronics. The lodge was built by the CCC and is open for overnight stays. There is of course a road to the top…which is how I got down last time. Today I needed to walk down.
On the way, I ran into Doubledown, a lady I had met on the CDT. She’s also finishing her triple crown so the 3 of us took a picture: a triple triple. We all did the CDT in 2019 and in the picture, happened to be in order of the years we did the PCT: from right to left 2016, 2017, 2018. Pretty cool. We chatted only briefly because the mosquitoes were bad and it was getting late. She told me her brother, Smackdown, was just behind, in town at the dollar general. This is a great place to meet hikertrash and it was easy to track him down. He’s also finishing his triple crown, after already having done the last half of the PCT this summer. I’m so glad that I got to see them again, albeit too briefly. On the CDT we all camped together for 2 nights, once in Pie Town and the second night at the TLC ranch. Good memories.
I was on a high from all the treats this day but there were more to come. In the town of Cheshire, there sits a beautiful little yard specifically for hikers to camp for free. There’s a shed with outlets for charging and also loaner bikes! I got set up, then joined Picky for a ride down to the reservoir and Bass Water Cafe. Sunset over the lake was beautiful (but then we had to ride the bikes back in the dark, having forgotten our headlamps…ooops). We had a huge dinner at the restaurant. I ordered fish and chips and another hard cider, which this time was perfectly dry, like I like them. The waitress had described it as unfiltered and disgusting, which is what piqued my interest. It was the perfect ending to a fun and eventful day. I didn’t make a ton of miles but I got 3 real meals, cake, and a good cider.
I celebrated my B-day in Etna on the PCT, atop Grays and Torreys on the CDT and now Greylock and Cheshire on the AT. I wasn’t sure if I could push hard enough to get to Greylock but it had been on my mind as a target before I even started. As a huge bonus, I had some awesome people to hang out with. It’s so cool how these things just seem to work out.