Congdon Shelter to North Adams, MA
October 20, 2007
LT Miles – 10
Total LT Miles – 272.4
Extra Miles – 4.4
The first thing I see this morning is that a mouse chewed a hole into my food bag. Fortunately all the food seems to be okay, but my Granite Gear stuff sack is sorely damaged. I mourn the loss. That food bag saw me through 2,500 miles of backpacking, 7,000 miles of bicycle touring, and countless attacks by various small furry mammals with pointy teeth.
The shelters that coincide with the AT have more rodent activity than those farther north on the LT.
The streams are swollen and rushing from last night’s rain.
The beaver dam at Sucker Pond is overflowing, and here I have no choice but to negotiate a section of trail flooded beneath a foot of water. I find a good walking stick for balance, throw down some logs to aid my passing, and make the best of this obstacle. The above image is the trail.
“So The Long Trail won’t let me go that easy,” I think.
I still don’t feel well, and suspect that I’ve caught a mild form of Giardia. The symptoms seem to point to a similar form of water borne illness, but I haven’t experienced the horror stories commonly associated with Giardia.
The dam is overflowing.
The trail leads me to higher ground, and I cross today’s only significant mountain – Consultation Peak. The sign here on the summit actually reads “Consultation Peak,” if you look closely.
Seth Warner is the last (Or first) shelter on The Long Trail. Here I have a snack and take a closer look at the contents of my food bag.
It looks as though the mouse had his fill after all.
But the peanut butter was impenetrable.
Rest in peace, food bag, rest in peace.
The area is punctuated with large boulders.
I wonder about the geological conditions that went into their placement.
These signs mark the border of Vermont with Massachusetts, and the southern terminus of The Long Trail.
The clouds open over Massachusetts.
Here I follow the Appalachian Trail south to North Adams.
The trail descends to Route 2, where I cross the Hoosic River.
The northern spur of Mount Greylock looms ominously above.
The trail head empties directly into North Adams. It’s a small town with everything I want – a motel and a supermarket. I buy a small flask of Jim Beam in celebration of completing The Long Trail. I fully intend to drown whatever bug has taken up residence in my digestive system.
In the motel room on this rainy night I order pizza, watch Jimmy Stewart with his wheelchair in Rear Window, and proceed to get soundly drunk.