Twig Adventures

AT Day 36: Great Barrington

Sunday August 29th, 2021, 0600-1030
South Mt Wilcox Shelter to RT 7, SOBO AT mm 669.2
11.7 miles
2195 gain, 3327 loss

I slept great in the shelter. There’s nothing better than the white noise of rain striking the roof of a hut or shelter. I was visited by a few mosquitoes and a mouse, but they weren’t too much of a bother. It was nice having Yerbe Matte while watching the light grow in the morning…very cozy. There was a chill to the air so I put on my puffy. I didn’t have to worry about waking anyone too early, as Picky was also up getting ready.

Starting at 6 am now means struggling to see for ten minutes or so on the trail. I hate when the days start to get this short. It was also very foggy. These dense forests always seem a bit gloomy, as such. Quickly we came to a spot where we’d been warned about ground hornets…several hikers had been stung up to 6 times the day before. We skirted the area and had no problem. I’ve actually never been stung while hiking, so I guess I’ve been lucky. It’s a record I’m kind of proud of and trying hard to preserve. I’d like to think that I’m on good terms with stinging insects, as I’ve even gone out to my way before to rescue bees.

Chicken of the Woods, a popular edible fungi

There wasn’t much to say about the 12 miles we hiked to get to the road to town. The miles went by quickly because my mind was on a hot shower and food. Towns make it hard to enjoy the trail sometimes but we did stop at a few overlooks to see if there were any views…there weren’t because it was still very cloudy. There were some steep but tiny ups and downs and then a nice short bit of road walking after we descended to the river valley. The trail dove off into the grass but I stayed on the parallel road because I didn’t want to stir up the mosquitoes that were reported to be the worst in this section. I actually put on my rain jacket when we had to walk along the river for about a mile. I laughed as the mossies tried to bite me through it because they just can’t. They nailed the backs of my legs no matter how fast I walked, so I had to use some spray.

We got to the road in good time and even had options for getting to town. We had just met a section hiked that had a shuttle ride coming in 15 minutes. Or we could try to hitch while we waited. Of course I stuck out my thumb and had a ride in 5 minutes. The lady even turned around to get us, and she was on her way to work. She dropped us off at the Days Inn where Picky had a reservation.

The rest of the day involved chores and eating, the usual. We went out on the town for dinner, checking out the ritzy store fronts. The town sat in the heart of the Berkshires, attracting a rather affluent crowd. I saw several Lamborghini’s. I was wearing my sink-washed clothes, still a bit damp but smelling better. We had thai food and were going to get ice cream but were too stuffed. We would get back on trail in the morning.

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