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School ended on Wednesday the 26th and today we are in the woods at our first spot on the Appalachian Trail. We downloaded the Lyft and Uber apps on our phone and off we went.
We knew we were in good hands when the first text came through.
We took the train into Manhattan and then the Amtrak to Albany.
Once there we were told that the train coming in from Chicago was running 3 hours later than expected and that our next leg to Pittsfield would be delayed until that train arrived. Amtrak is notoriously known for being late. This delay would have gotten us to the trailhead much later than expected which would mean we would be hiking in the dark. So we took a vote and decided to take a LYFT car to Dalton, Massachusetts, about an hour away.
We almost actually got a ride from this woman that was chatting with us in the elevator. She even came back to ask us if we needed a ride to the bus station but we had already made the executive decision to take the LYFT car at that point. Our LYFT driver, Fathi did a great job of getting us to the Cumberland Farms gas station. We bought a sandwich and some Doritos and headed into the woods.
The trail was pretty much up a mountain, then down the mountain, then back up the mountain to the Kay Wood Shelter. There’s a short point17 mile trail that leads to the tenting area where there were waaaaay to many tenters. I’d say more than 10 tents and then people in the shelter as well. So we just walked past them all and headed to the water source down the hill. Once there we headed further away from the tenters and found a nice stealth spot up by the power lines.Away from the crowds. Im very surprised at how crowded this area is as it is only 2.5 miles from the nearest restaurants and pubs. Plus there are a couple of places in town where you can stay in the backyards of past hikers. So I’m surprised the thru hikers coming up from Georgia didn’t continue on. Every year the trail gets a little more crowded. Thankfully for us, we are able to find these hidden stealthy spots.
In the middle of the night, some rather loud and scary sounding animal came towards our tents. It was a combination of growling and meowing. But not meowing from a kitty cat, more like a large cougar or something or possibly a bear with a sore throat. I clapped my hands very loud and said “get outta here.” He actually listened and we heard him go up the mountain making that weird noise the entire time.
We have a new McGerk with us this year. With the recent murder on the Appalachian Trail this summer, we decided to hire this guy who is a retired secret service guy who wanted to make some extra cash. That’s who you will see in many of the photos with his dark glasses on. He goes by the name of Sherp McGerk. Mainly because he carries large and heavy loads in his pack like the Sherpas at Mount Everest. He also never runs out of energy and he could probably run circles around us. It’s a perfect trail name for him.
As you can see from some of the photo’s, Greg decided to leave his hair piece at home fo this hike. Lol actually on Wednesday night, he decided to give himself a really bad haircut. Thankfully hair grows back so he should be okay before the end of the summer.
We left the Kay Wood shelter at around 9:30 am. The entire pack of hikers was long gone. We knew the next shelter was a 9 mile hike and we had a couple of options if we didn’t make it the whole 9 miles. At about mile 7, I was pretty much done, but decided to continue on because it might rain tomorrow so we want less mileage tomorrow if we have to hike in the rain.
So we made it the full 9 miles and set up our tents and hammocks behind the shelter. I made an amazing dinner of Ravioli and pepperoni. Sherp had mashed potatoes and then we all ate some kind of candy and drank fruit punch.
The bugs are out in full force. I just pulled a tick of of Greg’s leg. The mosquitos have been chomping away at us all day.
The next morning, all the thru hikers were gone and we had the shelter all to ourselves. We left at 9:30 for an easy 4 mile hike. I pulled 2 more ticks off of Greg today. He seems to be the only one getting any ticks latched on to. Maybe it’s his baby soft skin.
Currently we have an amazing spot on Finnerty Pond. We saw some rather large moose tracks on the way here.
Packed up early as the dark clouds were rolling in. Hiking in the rain is not fun but this year we were prepared.
We made out of the woods, some of us dryer than others. We started walking down the road and a nice duck farmer in his coffee roasting can offered us a ride to town. We currently are staying at a Super 8. Check in here wasn’t till 3 so we wandered around Lee, Mass for a few hours. We resupplied our food and did our laundry and showered. Oh and I pulled three more ticks off of Greg. That totals 6 ticks so far for him.
We head back into the woods tomorrow. I wonder how many ticks will stick to him tomorrow. Hopefully he is done with them for the rest of the trip.