Fri Oct 9th, 2020, 0700-1100
Pete’s Spring, MA to Mt Greylock, MA
3600 gain, 1500 loss
We’re set to meet Stellar’s cousin at the top of Mount Greylock around noon. Given the short distance, there’s no need to be on the trail before dawn. It’s kind of nice to set out in the light of day and we still manage to catch the sunrise over the Hoosic River. We’ve come out of the mountains to travel along nearly empty suburban streets between the city centers of North Adams and Williamstown. After a mile, we’re back in the woods and beginning the climb.
We go up quickly, stopping at several overlooks at Prospect Ledge and Mt. Williams. We get news that Neut is just behind us and planning to reunite at the top. We lost him somewhere after Killington a few days back. As he’s done most of the hike, he manages to catch up again. We’re happy that we convinced him to keep going to the top of Greylock and that we’ll all finish together on this, our version of Mt Katahdin. The weather is perfect for a summit celebration. In fact, it’s probably the clearest day we’ve had yet.
For the home stretch, we cross a 2.5 mile ridge that gradually builds to the top. I find this section very easy and enjoyable, with views off both sides. A final steep ski slope brings us to the summit, which is abuzz with visitors. Mount Greylock rises to 3,491′, with commanding views of much of MA as well as several surrounding states (NY, CT, VT, NH). Being the highest point in MA, of course there’s a road to the summit, along with a lodge. But the most notable feature is the Veteran’s War Memorial Tower. It’s like an inland light house, viewable from up to 70 miles away. Unfortunately the inside and staircase are off-limits at the time, but we enjoy it as a backdrop for our finisher photos. The AT passes through the center of all this. I look forward to returning again some day soon.
As planned, we meet Kevin, Stellar’s cousin-in-law, who gives us a ride down the mountain. We part ways with Neut one last time in Williamstown, so he can catch a train to Boston, while we continue north to Burlington, VT. To wrap up the trip, we spend the next 3 days with Stellar’s extended family. We visit farms and farm stands, pick apples, and even go boating on Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. It’s all a wonderfully New England wind-down from the trail.
Many thanks to Stellar’s family for hosting, entertaining, and driving us around: Eric, Krissie, Will, Emily, Kaitlyn, and pup Kali Mae (aka devil dog). Also Kevin and Carol and Ross and Mary. The experience was so enriched by our time spent with these dear families. Mahalo.