Mile: 1468 - 1495.4 (27.4 miles)
I wake up hopeful for a good day. I'll admit I'm mostly looking forward to finally being able to do laundry soon. The town of Great Barrington is only 53 miles away and as usual everything I own is damp and unpleasant. The first mile is harder than it should be and misty humidity is a punch in face and I'm pouring sweat from minute one. Making it to Choggam Brook with cold water, caffeine and another snack the morning gets better. More climbing doesn't feel as dramatic although the descent after St. John's Ledges is rocky and surprisingly slow going.
Then it's nice mellow road following a river and meadows. The trail is quiet and the river full of ducks and great blue herons. There is even a raccoon fishing that I would have happily watched longer had the mosquitos and gnats been slightly less infuriating.
He's blurry but real!
The steep climbs continue, although there's more pine and less rock which is nice. I even pass a trail crew which is fun, and then I pass a racetrack which is just odd. Unearths cars more than anything and looking down all I can see are loops of track and squealing tires.
It's hazy but there's a track down there.
The rain starts in earnest, not pouring but much more than a drizzle. I plod along pushing to I don't know where. I find myself sitting down a lot staring numbly into space, I really could use a day off.
Walking on a road the trail passes a high school that looks beyond Ivy League and fancy. It's pouring so I don't take a closer look, just continue on. I pass on a small town nearby because the only cafe is already closed. Crossing a river on a giant iron bridge and finding empty coolers of trail magic while the rain continues.
The water source I expected looks dry until I realize it's just fine farther upstream which is fantastic because I don't have it in me to walk to the next source. Even with the pouring rain things are dry.
I continue climbing, I'm feeling better and as I get higher the climb is fun. Larger spines of rock then beautiful pine forest. I spend awhile taking in sunset in the misty rain at Rands View before finding the first spot I can squeeze my tent into. Today was full of highs and lows, I'm glad it got to end on a good note because it was honestly a rough one.
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