At five-thirty in the Upper Goose Pond Cabin, the caretaker bellowed into the bunk room that pancakes were ready! I jumped up and was first in line in the kitchen, which also meant I got to eat at the dining room table. The pancakes had butter and syrup and were delicious.
We returned to the bunk house and packed, and Tandem and I were back on the trail by 6:45. We walked through some very cool and misty woods due to the rain that had fallen overnight. The rising moisture being pulled up by the sun was really pretty in some places at the right angle.
We climbed and then dropped to I-90, which is the Mass Turnpike. We crossed on a pedestrian bridge and then looped around like an entrance ramp on the highway. The rest of the day was shown in AWOL’s Guide as being flat at 2,000 feet. The reality was that it was rocky, muddy, and had many roots. We all stopped for lunch at the “Cookie Lady’s” house where we bought cold sodas and got three free cookies. There was a pet chicken in the yard that was pestering Tandem for food. Mio even got the chicken to grab a saltine from his mouth.
After that, we made good time, and I was in Dalton, MA, by 16:45, having covering the 20.5 miles in 10 hours with breaks. Tandem had run ahead to get our Amazon box from the post office before it closed at 16:30. I walked along the AT in Dalton and it took me right by 83 Depot Street, where Thomas Levardi allows hikers to camp in his back yard.
After setting up my tent, Mio, Jukebox, and I walked into town to get a beer at the Shamrock Pub. We sat at the bar and watched the Argentina vs Netherlands World Cup semi-final soccer match. We had beers and appetizers for dinner. Tandem showed up very happy after getting a free shower down the street. She ordered a Big Elm IPA like most of us had and ate a great looking sandwich.
Mio had heard that Pippin was in town and happened to be right next door at the Shamrock Village Inn. He came over later to see us in the pub. After that, Mombo, Joe Hawk, and Murphy came in. They also had with them a hiker named 50/50 who we hadn’t met yet. He is a nice guy.
We all chatted for an hour over more beers. One of the bar’s regular patrons bought an additional round of beer for Mio, Jukebox, Tandem, and me to congratulate us for our thru hiking achievements so far, which Jukebox had been taking to him about.
As “hiker midnight” approached at 18:00, most departed the pub and I went across the street for a Coke and ice cream. After enjoying them, I said my goodnights and headed back to my tent. I was tired and crashed.