Well, the treachery and ruggedness of the northern portion of the trail is over. Now the relatively easy hiking in Vermont and southward has arrived. Moosilauke was the last big “hoorah” of the White Mountains, even though the White Mountain National Forest extends south of there. Southward has been back to the green tunnel, something I grew weary of in the south, but now welcome as cool weather, less bugs, relatively soft trails, and some changing colors usher in autumn.
Encounters with NOBOs are now rare, although one or two every now and then are still trying to make it before the middle of October. I had heard from Angry, whom I passed near Bennington, that Wooby and Kiba were nearby, but I unfortunately missed them. This couple goes back farther than anyone else, back to that group of eight that I hiked with in Georgia. Only Martin (now Pancake), myself and these two are left. Nice to know they made it this far!
The hike through the Berkshires has been blessed with great weather and pretty easy hiking. Campsites are for the taking, and I’ve found myself alone a few times now. Much has changed since those days in the south, when “tent city” would appear every night, and the shelters always filled.
Although I like the sanctuary of my tent, I’ve grown somewhat weary of camping, mostly because my legs don’t like it anymore. I’ve heard this complaint among several hikers that have been out here as long as I have, both young and old. Hip pain and not being able to get comfortable at night, shifting from one side to the other to avoid the pain. Hence my recent use of the Easy Button – if there’s a hostel, B&B or motel available, I’m there! Coming into town is also giving me a chance to see the rich history of Southern New England.
Three more states – here we go!