Washington Mountain Rd.

The hiking day is over. I’m sitting in a Friendly’s in Pittsfield, MA. It’s late. Pilgrim, Banzai, and I are waiting for our meal. Pilgrim and I ordered from the senior menu. Our meals include a complimentary two scoop, one topping sundae. The service is slow. We are hungry but patient. It’s been a long day on the Appalachian Trail.

My day began with a ride from Great Barrington back to the trail near Tyringham, MA. Roy Wiley, another AT legend and the husband of the “cookie lady,” has been shuttling hikers for over twenty years. So with an old plan and two fellow hikers for companions, I covered the 18.0 miles in under nine hours. Other than two beautiful lakes, there really wasn’t much to get excited about throughout the day. Still we all hiked with new found energy and enthusiasm, mainly due to lower humidity and fewer mosquitoes.

The picturesque, placid lakes we passed today made me think about my brother. As I stood by the banks of Upper Goose Pond I thought about how much Don would have loved to be fishing here. I could see him casting from the bank on the lazy afternoon. This was the type of day he loved to be out on his bass boat, appreciating an opportunity to enjoy nature. Don would have really liked Upper Goose Pond.

Just past Upper Goose Pond the trail crosses over I-90 and then heads back into the woods toward US 20. At the road we walked the 0.1 mile to a small inn with a picnic table by another lake where we could have some lunch. Pilgrim and I had each packed a couple of burgers from McDonald’s. When we went inside to use a soft drink machine, we also discovered a microwave. This hike keeps getting better. Not only was I able to purchase a Coke, but I got to heat up my burgers.

After lunch the three of us faced only the second substantial climb of the day. Regardless of the elevation change, all continued to go well. Sure, there were some rocks, a good bit of mud, and a few pests, but overall we were only pleasantly tired at the end of the hike. Banzai said he was definitely liking the DBM (Don’s Brother’s Method). With two fellow hikers aboard, I hope to perfect some of the minor issues over the next few days.

Late in the afternoon Banzai hiked on ahead for awhile. When Pilgrim and I arrived at Washington Mountain Rd., and the home of Roy, Banzai was sitting at a picnic table having a cookie. Roy returned shortly with cookies for Pilgrim and me before he drove us to Pittsfield. A little later we checked into a motel, cleaned up, and headed to dinner. So despite the slow service at the restaurant, we eventually were served a good meal. Tomorrow I’ll move closer to Vermont as I hike along with Banzai and Pilgrim northward on the Appalachian Trail.

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