Day 98: Dalton, MA to Wilbur Clearing

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, June 20, 2010


Firstly, happy Fathers Day to all the daddys out there reading. I was very glad to be able to get through to Dad despite worsening cell phone reception. A beautiful day out here once the morning rain and humidity cleared out.

Actually woke up early to rain coming down and some faint thunder, and thought about taking a zero. Fortunately when I woke up the second time the weather had shifted.

Today was a really rough day for my stomach, I don't know if it was some bad water, iffy food, too much beer, or some other source but my digestive tract was letting me know about it... For those of you that haven't experienced this... Definitely not ideal when you are out camping. (and the tight hip strap on the pack suddenly becomes a real issue)

But I pressed on nonetheless. If I didn't hike every time my stomach was a little messed up I'd still be in Virginia... And we certainly wouldn't want that!

Got a text message from my buddy BowTie, and he is quite a bit back but when I vacation with my family it might put us on track to finish at the same time. I really do hope (if I finish) to be there on the same day as another hiker or two that I already know.

The days hike includes a 1000 ft and 2500 ft climb. Yes, we are moving north! We finally reached 3000 ft in altitude again for the first time since Shenandoah. Interestingly, the boreal like forest at the summit was very reminiscent of the forests found above 6000 ft down in TN and NC. We have moved a lot further north which means the altitude makes a big difference. It won't be long and we'll be above tree line!

Summited Mt. Greylock in the late afternoon (3,491 ft highest peak in MA) and there were tourists everywhere with lots of questions and no free food. The workers in the lodge were nice enough to let me charge my phone though.

The top of Greylock is a huge tower to remember MA war dead. The vista from the top is stunning. You can see where we have been and where we are going. Also 5 states are visible and even the distant White Mtns are barely there on the distant horizon. So exciting!!

The trail is beginning to be very muddy, just as I'd expect for VT.  People have nicknamed it "Vermud." it seems the every state had some defining characteristic. MA has a heck of a lot of pricker bushes overgrown onto the trail. My arms get all ripped up everyday and then the sweat really burns on the open wounds!

Ok so before you think "man Donner is a tough cookie, probably ready to go off and be a mountain man..." I'm at a shelter alone tonight and I'm a bit lonely and afraid of the noises in the woods. Oh and the mice, already seen one run across the shelter floor.

The guys I was hiking with did a slack pack in the other direction so they are back in Dalton at Tom's watching Forest Gump. I'm a little jealous!

Ah well I am glad to be out in the woods enjoying the solitude and peace. Maybe I'll see a moose if I'm quiet. I have seen scat now, so we are in the right territory.

Well hope everyone is doing fine. I really missed being at all the parties in Detroit this weekend with all the relatives. I hope I can catch up with everyone shortly after I'm off the trail. Crossed the 600 mi to go mark today, it's getting closer :)

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