Friday, December 7, 2012

Trail Recap 19 of 27: Great Barrington to N Adams, MA

AT approaching Mt. Greylock summit, one of my top photos
Prettiest private garden/yard of any that the AT passes thru: Mass. Ave, N. Adams

Jug End Road, South Egremont, near Great Barrington, MA to Pine Cobble Trail, just a few miles from the VT border:  78.9 miles.

General Impression/Theme:  Bugs!  The mosquitoes were swarming and agressive, especially on the high swampy plateau south of Pittsfield, MA.  The deer flies made their first appearance, and the black flies had not yet quit for the season.

People:  'Sawdog', very hard working MA ridge runner, doing active maintenance work, met twice in three days. Thru hikers 'Tetris', the other 'Maverick', and 'Patches'.  This was my second meeting with 'Patches', first was near Newfound Gap in the Smokies.  Langdon 'Grey Goose' Potts, from TN, who I also met twice in three days, a 52 year old who quit his corporate job to hike the AT and turn his life in a new direction.   Marcus 'Spoon' Siu, my second meeting: one of the tightknit foursome I first met at Icewater Spring Shelter in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Nancy E. from Maine, the caretaker for the week at Upper Goose Pond Shelter, avid Maine hiker, great listener and all around enjoyable and caring person.

Supply/Overnight:  Trailhead parking lots, Holiday Inn Express (for a second time) at Great Barrington; Dalton/Pittsfield Wal-Mart, Price Chopper, and Old Country Buffet;  Cheshire, MA; North Adams Price Chopper.

Worst Memory:  Being caught in a thunderstorm on the exposed ridge of East Mountain.  Thunder, lightning, strong wind, a deluge of rain: the raw power of nature hit home.

Telephoto shot of Cheshire Cobbles from AT north of town
Best Day Hike:  I'll give the nod to the hike up to Cheshire Cobbles from the town of Cheshire, MA.  It's a popular day hike and even the walk thru town is a pleasure, very clean and neat.  The view from the rock outcrop is beautiful, and includes the town, Cheshire Reservoir, and Mt. Greylock.

The available short or long hikes around Mt. Greylock have to be my second choice (you can drive to the summit).

Then there's the popular vista point at Warner Hill, southeast of Pittsfield. It's not a high peak, but offers an excellent panoramic view from an open summit meadow and rock outcrop.  The most popular approach is the short one, just a half mile from Blotz Road, but be sure to hike past the summit meadows and on north for more peaceful meadow walking.

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