Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A week in Massachusettes!

The traveling LoveNest's first stop on our way through the Bay State.  Glen Brook Lean To.  
For some odd reason, I really enjoy the fact that as we head North, the Shelters are now called Lean Tos.  Cute Hubby and I drove 7 hours North (unbelievable that it now takes us 7 hours to just get on the trail!) and spent the night in the lovely Berkshires, powering up on a feast in preparation of days of trail food.
The weather was outrageously perfect and we were so happy to leave humid 100 degree Maryland.
Our first happy surprise was to meet our shuttle driver, Marilyn Wiley, who told us about her blueberry farm right off the trail.   We later learned all about Marilyn later in the hike - but I instantly fell in love with this grand lady - who is a birder!

I love spending days on end with this guy...

Paying respects to Daniel Shay and his rrebellion that contributed to the movement to draft the Constitution. 
Paying respects to the beauty that is the state of Mass.

Paying respects to my last hike with this trusty (but extremely heavy) backpack.   I'll miss you, Osprey pack.  It is hard to end our 8 year relationship, but you are just weighing me down, constraining my freedom.   I need a lighter, more nimble pack so I can improve my communing with nature.  I need to move on and I want you to know, Osprey pack, that I never once cheated on you with another pack.   I considered it when for 6 years,  you smelled like the skunk that rubbed against you one night.
Cute Husband being true to his pack...

July 10!  We head down CobbleView hill (which was really a small mountain) to get off the trail and celebrate our 8 year anniversary of each other!
I spy Warren, my Love...
Hiking through patches of Jewel Weed.
The LoveNest for our anniversary... Cobble View B&B..
Heading out of Tyringham.  Did I mention how perfect the weather was?
New England quaint...

Getting ready to celebrate!
900 AT miles!
Beautiful views...

Upper Goose Pond!

I didn't dip...
But, Cute Husband enjoyed the water as fish enjoyed giving him a pedicure...

Hiking happiness on the dock at Upper Goose Pond Cabin...

There is even an AT canoe to use, if you have the energy to use your upper body after hiking.
Chilling by the dock of the pond..

Doing the hand motion for a trucker honk still works as we cross a loud highway on our way to Marilyn's- the cookie lady!  We met another section hiker named Wilson who told us all about the cookie lady who owned a blueberry farm - aha!  We knew the cookie lady as our shuttle driver Marilyn.  We stopped for a break and enjoyed her and her husband's hospitality and cookies!  But, we had to  move on, as it was our longest hiking day - 18.1 miles.  Thanks Marilyn!  
The traveling LoveNest made it all 18.1 miles on Warren's back to Keywood Lean To.

Swanky Keywood Lean To...
Sign for water source.  Pointing down a cliff.  Naturally.
Yup, we walked 18.1 miles from Upper Goose Pond Cabin.
Entering the town of Dalton and admiring a hostel. 
Old backpacks hang from the rafters and hiking sticks line the walkway.
We met Steamer early in our hike and found him with Dakota Dan after a town lunch in Dalton.  I can't tell you how much we enjoyed Steamer's company as we crossed paths several times during the week.  He was staying and recovering from a stress fracture at the Bird Cage hostel.  Hi Mr. Bird!  Thanks for the afternoon hospitality. 
Warren and I were sad to hear later that Steamer had to get off the trail to recover.  So disappointing, as he really was just steaming along.  Love from MD to Pittsburgh, Steamer!
Our final night in the woods was at Crystal Mountain Campsite.  No Lean To provided.  Cute Husband and I, along with a very tame chipmunk were the only occupants.  I'll take this moment to say a final goodbye to our faithful traveling LoveNest which will soon be replaced by a new LIGHTWEIGHT traveling LoveNest.  Another piece of equipment that has served us well, but it just too heavy. 

Do you see a theme for BC's new hiking gear?  Lighter weight will hopefully mean more time to enjoy such views:
We  got off the trail in Cheshire, MA and headed North, by car.  No packs on our backs, but we did go to Maine for birding, biking...
whale watching...
and coastal fun. 

VA calls us back in the fall...with some new gear!

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