July 12th,That evening, I appended the above with the following:
Feel like crap this morning. Slept in a church basement last night. Slept decently enough, but kept waking up at random times by the nagging urge to urinate. The bathroom is about 150 feet away. Too far. Woke up first at 5-something, and then at 6:50 for good. Long climb coming today, biggest since central Virginia.
I am not intimidated.
Don't know what I want most right now: some company, for a change? A real bed? A day off? Lemonade? Lemonade? Juice? A respite from the deer flies? All of the above? Just one good night's sleep? My iPod? Feet that aren't in constant pain?
Major Chafage's Rules for Walking the A.T. (Revised):
1) Never leave a man or woman behind.
2) Never pass up trail magic.
3) Always stop to eat the blueberrries.
4) Slackpacking is for the weak and feeble-minded, but should be done as often as possible. (So far: never)
5) Juice. Just juice.
6) Shit, I'm just making stuff up, now.
Greylock awaits, then, Stop & Shop...
Greylock was okay. Stop & Shop was better, although I did not find any drink mix packets.Which reminds me. Damn you, Stop & Shop! Why don't you carry Crystal Light? Are you too good for Kraft Foods? I don't think so!
But, for once, the hiking:That, I bought from the cafeteria/gift shop of the hotel at the summit. Greylock is one of a handful of mountains on the entire A.T.—Mt. Washington and Bear Mountain in New York being two other examples—where cars can drive straight to the top. The hotel there is spectacular, but prohibitively expensive. Sadly, hikers have no chance of doing work for stay.
The grades were moderate in the morning. Heading out of town we passed through a couple of meadows, several clouds of midges, and then faced a steep up, up, up. Once landmarks started becoming recognizable, e.g. "several streams cross A.T. numerous times," the hiking became much easier.
I enjoyed a popsicle on Greylock's summit,
and a Magic Hat IPA courtesy of some trail magic by Blue Jay, a southie section hiker I met once before in Virginia, and talked to about skirts. Yeah, that's the guy.Whom, incidentally, I had also met before, apparently way back in the Smoky Mountains, where we had conversed congenially about the benefits of hiking in one's underwear.
After an almost two hour break, I hiked down with Mimi,
Fred and Lou. It was steep. No bugs, though. Went faster with company. Sad, though, because those three are staunchly individualistic. Group hiking with them seems unlikely.In retrospect, it's possible they just didn't like me.
Am now camped out behind an outfitter in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Beautiful city, by the way. However, I don't know where I'm going to take my morning crap. I just had Indian food, though, so it will be necessary. (As though it isn't necessary every other morning...) Tired now. It's only 9 PM.
Oh, and my 3 newfound companions ditched me while I was in Stop & Shop! Jerks! Although, I mean, I did find them again... But still! Caveman knows I hold a grudge like no other...