Monday, June 4, 2012: To hike the entire Appalachian Trail both ways in a single year, you have to be prepared to adapt. Be flexible. Bend but don't break. Old folk tend to get "set in their ways" - they get Brittle. The Appalachian Trail is keeping me young, not just physically, but mentally. What a valuable gift!
Today I exercised my flexibility as I was monitoring the sketchy weather - 80% chance of rain - cool and cloudy and drizzle even when it was not raining. If ever there was a day to take a zero, this was it. But if you want to get to Maine, you have to hike in the rain. I knew I was going to get rained on today if I went out, but I chose my start time (8AM) to coincide with a predicted window of four rain-free hours. At least I was going to start out dry.
My forecast was spot-on. The rain started in earnest around 11:45 and lasted most of the afternoon. I hiked a short day, getting off the trail and out of my soaking wet shoes and socks by 3:15, but I had logged another 5.1 trail miles closer to Katahdin (10.2 miles of hiking). And that's what matters - I made progress.
And it was an interesting day. I met two young thru-hikers ('Maverick' and 'Tetris') who knew other thru-hikers I'd met (the other 'Maverick', 'Goose', 'Blue Grass' and 'Groundhog'), I met 'Sawdog', one of the two Massachusetts Ridge Runners, I took in the view from 'The Ledges' while the visibility was good, and I passed the pretty beaver pond shown up top.
Off the trail early, I took care of some other business and (gasp!) got a motel room for tonight! I couldn't resist. I really love the town of Great Barrington. I may even come back and do it again before I get too far north.
Hey - B is for Barrington, B is for Beaver pond. B is for Blue Hill Road and Benedict Pond (Both of which I passed). B is for Bend but don't Break. B is my Best Buddy today, my new BFF. The Appalachian Trail ain't exactly Sesame Street, but today it was brought to you by the letter 'B' :-D
Here's a map of today's hike and a link to more photos:
AT Day 142 - The Ledges at EveryTrail
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