Dalton, Massachusetts

The way to start a day of hiking is with a latte. And grab some really good sandwiches for lunch at this coffe shop Laura and I discovered in Dalton last May. Gary and I are meeting the “Cookie Lady” at the Appalachian Trail parking lot. Her real name is Marilyn and she shuttles hikers to trail heads so they can hike back to their cars. She lives on top of the mountain just steps from the AT and leaves a basket of cookies on the porch for hikers. Laura and I hiked that section in May and I looked for the cookies, maybe she was still baking and we were too early, because I didn’t see any. 

We leave our car in Dalton and Marilyn and Roy drive us up to the Trail head in Cheshire. Another hot day. At least the climb of the hike starts out first and it really isn’t a huge up. 

Looking down from The Cobbles viewpoint, we can see the parking lot in Cheshire where we started. My legs know they did some work to get up here. And there is more up to go yet.

There is no view but the cairns tell us we’ve reached the summit. I’m very grateful for a nice breeze. 

How about this perfect spot for a lunch break. It is amazing how good that sandwich you’ve been fantasizing about for 2 miles, tastes when it comes out of your daypack. I also bring a bottle of coke–I don’t drink soda, unless I’m hiking so it’s a treat. And did I mention Snicker bars? Hah! Yeah, it’s all about food.

Sitting here by this pond is so contemplative. I see a beaver lodge but have yet to see a beaver– anywhere. There is a hawk hunting and he hovers over the water before snatching his prey. Three different, beautiful dragonflies dart over the lily pads. One of them has a dark burgundy body with pink sparkeley wings. It was a beautiful hike over The Cobbles back to Dalton.

Ok, I’m just going to admit this. Gary found a four star restaurant a mile from our hotel in New Ashford for dinner. Mill on the Floss (yes, named after the book by George Elliot) is a French cuisine restaurant in a charming 17th century farmhouse with a restored grist mill. A glass of wine, dinner and desert was amazing. No freeze dried, reconstituted backpacker/hiker food for us. 

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