Day 83 on the Appalachian Trail

Last night cooled off so much that I zipped up my sleeping bag before morning. At 6:15am, I headed down hill past inviting pools of water. In 15 minutes, the Appalachian Trail headed uphill for a 700-foot climb to Race Mountain. Lots of outcrops of bedrock plus many ups and downs drained my energy. Nice views from the summit, though. The descent to and climb up Mt. Everett wore me out. The high point of the first 6 miles of the day turned out to be a cooler of Gatorades and two jugs of cold water at a parking lot (see photo). My benefactors were probably AT trail crew members I passed on Mt. Everett. The next two miles looked routine from the guidebook, but weren't. Constant small and steep ups and downs required lots of energy. Finally, I arrived at the flatland and in another 1.8 miles I reached Sheffield-Egremont Road and 6 gallons of water left by a trail angel. I ate lunch in the shade of an interpretive sign with Wet Tent, another northbound thru hiker. Onward in the heat through farm fields to the Housatonic River. A sign warned people not to eat the PCB-contaminated fish from the river. One last climb of 1100 feet up East Mtn. The climb wasn't as hard as I feared. I arrived at the Tom Leonard shelter at 5 pm, thoroughly tired and thirsty. Two other hikers soon arrived and kindly offered to hike 1/4 mile downhill to get water for and me. I discovered that my cooking pot sprouted a tiny hole. I ended up soaking my Knorr dinner in its package with cold water. It worked. About 15 hikers appeared by 7 pm, at which time I sought my bug-free tent. Today's miles -21.0. Total miles - 1527.0

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