Day 124 – July 9 – 12.9 miles (+3.0) Laurel Ridge Campsite to Great Barrington
We began the day with a climb up Mt. Race. The weather was absolutely perfect.
On top of Mount Race there was a 0.6 mile ridgeline walk. The views were surprisingly stunning. We had a short day planned, so we were able to stay a linger a little longer on the ridegeline.
After going over Mt. Race we went over Mt. Everett. Another nice view.
After Mt. Everett, we came to a picnic area. One of the picnic tables had a ton of one gallon jugs of water on it. Besides the gallons, there were also water coolers filled with ice water. Ice cold water that we don’t have to filter? Yes please!
Stoat and I hung out at the picnic tables for a little while. One of us had an instant coffee packet and we made some coffee. Stoat and I were both coffee drinkers in “real” life but didn’t drink at breakfast time on the trail. Neither of us wanted to spend any extra time in the morning making it. We ate our pop tarts and granola bars and got going. We found that hiking up a mountain wakes you up just as good as a cup of coffee anyway.
Funny thing was, neither of us really missed it. It was now more of a treat than a morning necessity.
While sipping our coffee, we talked to several folks who were out for the day. The feeling we got when people got excited that we were Thru hikers still hasn’t gotten old.
After leaving the picnic area, we went over another mountain before making our way down to the farmland below.
Once we were down from the mountain, the next four miles were nice, easy miles.
Once we got to route 7 we made a left ,while the AT kept going straight, and began to walk in the direction of Great Barrington MA.
Great Barrington was a 3 mile roadwalk away. As we began to walk down the road, we held our thumbs out. Hoping to get a hitch into town. We completely failed. It was the first time we were unsuccessful in getting a ride. We wound up walking the entire three miles to town.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had a little shade. The sunlight and the extra heat coming off the road made life a little unpleasant for a while. When we finally got into town, we stopped in the first convince store we found and bought some much needed cold drinks.
After we left the convenience store, we soon passed what looked to be a castle off in the distance. We would find out a little later that it was a private school. The place looked like it was right out of the Harry Potter novels.
We checked into the hotel we were staying at and did a whole lot of nothing for a while. After which, we toured the main street of the town.
Great Barrington is an upper class town with lots of trendy / hip stores in its downtown area. As we walked around the town we bumped into several other thru hikers. Most were staying at the free camping area at the community center on the other side of town.
Stoat and I ate dinner at one of the restaurants in town. The food was good and it was only a little more expensive than usual.
After dinner we went to the movie theater and watched the new Spider-man Movie.
After getting out of the theater we were hungry again. We saw an ice cream shop across the street. It was impossible to resist.
We stuck out like a sore thumb in the ice cream shop. Two homeless looking guys in a sea of high school kids who were out enjoying their summertime freedom. Back in “real life” I might have been a little self conscious, but now I couldn’t care less.
I found I really didn’t care what the townsfolk thought of us. Not because I thought we were so much better than them or anything like that. It’s just that Stoat and I were experiencing that moment so much differently than the people around us, that we might as well be on different worlds.