Appalachian Trail Journals 08-12-03

Journals From A 2003 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (by Loony)

Entry #116 – August 12, 2003

7:20 PM – Well, we didn’t get the really early start from the church that we wanted. Left around 8 or 9, I think. It was nice staying there, being able to use the kitchen to cook and etc.

We climbed Mt Greylock then, which wasn’t so bad. There was a lodge at the top where we had some coffee & apples & ate our lunch. At the summit there is a huge lighthouse-like monument dedicated to MA’s war dead. It was a beautiful stone tower with a huge glass globe & light on the top. It sprinkled on us a bit when we were up there, but nothing major. We walked down the other side of the mountain and then we were in the town of North Adams. That’s where it gets really pathetic. Around 3:30 we stopped down on the main street and noticed the sky was getting dark. Thunder was rumbling in the distance. I was NOT HAPPY! I definitely didn’t want to start up the next mountain in a thunderstorm. We sat under a big tree for a while, waiting for the rain to start. It did, of course, so we decided to try to find a place to wait it out. We walked down the block to the church but there was no kind of a porch and we didn’t want to go in. Walked back to a senior apartment building, went around back and found a little porch & bench. Andy asked someone inside if it was ok to sit out there & they said it was. Sat there for an hour or so & chatted with all the old folks going in and out. By the time the thunder stopped, it was after 5. If we were going to go the 7 miles up to the shelter, we weren’t going to get there till dark. And it was still raining. Andy started joking that we should find a hotel. I told him he shouldn’t say that, cause I would in a second. Well, we decided to flip a coin. Heads hotel, tails trail. It came up heads. WOOOHOOOOO!

So off we went to find a place. On the way down the road, there was an auto repair shop open & I stopped by and asked the guy working if we were headed the right way. He said there was one hotel close, so we headed there. Unfortunately, it was a bit over our budget – $89, so we turned around. Back to the trail, we guessed. Very depressing. On the way back to the trail, I decided to stop @ the auto place again & use the phonebook & phone. We called a bunch of hotels & Yippee! – Found a good cheap place!!!! The guy @ the auto place even gave us a ride, cause it was a couple of miles away.

What a great night. Food, TV, nice soft bed. I can hardly wait to get home! Found a good organic food store close by, too, with some great hiking food. It rained all night, too, I guess. Nice to have had a roof.

Got out around 10 AM & did about 7 miles before lunch. On our break we started hearing thunder in the distance. Not again, I was thinking. Well, we cruised out of there at record pace, hoping to outrun any storm that was coming. We heard a few more rumbles, saw some gray skies, but thankfully nothing ever happened. We got to the Congdon Shelter around 5. Not much to do. There are a few section hikers, but no thru-hikers. We seem to be in a major lull! A lot of people seem to be getting discouraged lately. Most of us are ready to be done with it all. But the weather is suppose to get back to normal tomorrow, so that should help us along!

We’re passing quite a few southbounders. That reminds me, we passed a guy named Rigg from East Grand Forks about a week ago. Talked to him for quite awhile.

Oh – and we’re in Vermont now, finally! The trails are a total mess – muddy and wet and rooty.

More hiking tomorrow…