Monday, 22 October 2012

18 September 2012

Hello everyone!
I have now made it to Dalton in Massachusetts. I am about a day's walk from the Vermont state line with Mount Greylock right in front of me. I did a 10.5 mile walk yesterday "slackpacking" (you leave your full pack and kit with someone - in this case Tom Levardi in whose house I have stayed while in Dalton - and walk with only a light pack containing things for the day's walk). Wh
at a difference to walk lightly along the trail for a change!

I last checked in in Vernon NJ, but have now walked through New York State, Connecticut and most of Massachusetts.
I now have new boots! My old ones made it as far as Pawling NY, just south of Connecticut, where they finally died after walking 36 miles in one go, through the night and up to 7:45 next day. They made it 1440 miles before the soles finally shredded and fell apart. RIP torture-boxes.
I decided to stay put today as the unseasonable cold weather has been followed by heavy rain and strong winds today. Not a good day to try walking over Mount Greylock. So I have stayed warm and dry and managed to get to the library in Dalton.
I have not been rushing to get to Mnt Katadin as time is now probably too short, it was never a main goal (I'm not hell-bent on "finishing at Katadin"), and I want to enjoy this time and chew the fat - which was the point of this all along anyway.
I spent Fri and Sat at a beautiful place called Upper Goose Pond, in the cabin run by the Appalachian Mountain Club - with caretaker and pancakes and coffee for breakfast! - because it is so beautiful and I wanted to take the time to explore and enjoy it and rest. I swam in the lake, took a canoe and paddled round the lake, to the island, through the channel to the adjoining bigger lake and back, took numerous photos, slept and read. Just what the dactor ordered.

New York was a challenge, with very rough country, unpleasant heat, horrible humidity (up to 100% at times) and little water as they have been having a drought. Happily I / we were able to fill up from taps at various buisnesses and state parks, and from jugs of water left at certain places by "trail angels".
One more bear spotted, which brings my total so far to 23. : )

I spent a day in Salisbury, Conn., "zeroing" in order to rest my ankle which my new boot had been pressing and hurting. FYI: a teahouse there called "Chaiwalla's" serves pots of the best (real) chai I have yet tasted. Yum yum! 2 days later I said goodby to my new chum Cameron in Great Barrington, as he had colitis and had been really suffering. I told him we had to get him checked out and went to the hospital in GB. He will be off trail for a few days but hopefully I'll meet up with him again before too long.

Well, I am about to be chucked off this pc, so best regards to all.

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