Two State Finish

Hiking south, the sign says, Welcome to Massachusetts. That means I have just finished all the Appalachian Trail in Vermont! Gary, Laura, Tim and I backpacked a long section in Vermont years ago, during Hurricane Rita. What a memorable and terrifying experience that was. Tree branches crashing down, wind driven walls of rain, little streams were raging torrents. We spent a night in a shelter that I thought was going to blow off the mountain. 

Nothing but blue sky today, thankfully. As the sign says, the Appalachian Trail follows the Long Trail in Vermont for 105 miles. Just east of Killington, the Long Trail turns a corner, leaving the Appalachian Trail, and continues north to Canada. Laura asks, “Want to hike the rest of the 168 miles of the Long Trail?” Ahh…not soon. 

I am always taking a photo of Gary ahead of me. I’m anticipating standing where he is, either up a climb or down something.

Getting down rock jumbles is worse than clambering up and over the rocks. 

Seriously? This is not what I meant by, let’s take a break, guys. Obviously they did get the khaki and blue memo.

The contrast between sunlight and shadow is dramatic. 

The Trail crosses into North Adams over the Hoosatonic River with a great view of the mountains to the south. Already done that part!

I’ve had such a fun time hiking Massachusetts with Laura. Except for a few measly miles, she has hiked the state twice. Amazing! 

Driving back home we stop at Joe’s Diner in Lee, Massachusetts for dinner. Gary and I order the Wednesday Night Special. Buy one spaghetti dinner for $6.95, get the second one free. Entree comes with salad and garlic bread. WHAT? Have I hiked back into a time warp?

Maybe! In 1958, Norman Rockwell used Joe’s Diner as inspiration in his famous painting, The Runaway, an illustration for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Well, the price is right, dinner delicious and milkshakes for desert. 

So now the maps from Vermont and Massachusetts are relegated to the “Finished” file. It feels great to have a huge section from the James River footbridge in Virginia to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire complete. Ok, ok– I do have 24 miles in Shenandoah National Park to do. But I’m not counting those. They’re my “safety miles.” I’m saving those in case I get crazy and just have to get out and hike. I could drive to Shenandoah in about 3 hours. The rest of my  AT miles are a long drive. 

County Road to Pattison Road   8.3 miles

593.4 miles remaining

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  1. Awesome! I like ‘hiking’ vicariously via you. You are whittling away the second half of these miles.

  2. It looks beautiful! Colin did a short day hike last week. I know he misses it!

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