Day 85 on the Appalachian Trail

I arose early and packed my gear in order to be first in line for pancakes and coffee at 6:30am. After the delightful breakfast, Clay and I left at 7:15am. He motored on toward our day's destination, the Shamrock Motel in Dalton, MA. I followed more slowly. The Appalachian Trail descended for a mile to I-90 then US Hwy 20. I crossed on an overpass. The trail headed uphill but not too steeply to Beckett Mountain then Walling Mountain, both minor bumps on a ridge. For the next 14 miles, the AT gained or lost little elevation while running through forest. Beech-maple forest occupies sites with deeper soils, while the eastern white pine-eastern hemlock forest grows in moister areas. I saw spruce and balsam fir trees today, signs that the AT is getting farther north. My nose enjoyed the smell of the firs. Happily, clouds covered the sun most of the day, plus a brief shower cooled the air about 3 pm. I rolled into Dalton at 4:15pm and bought a pint of chocolate ice cream and a half gallon of chocolate milk then walked to the Shamrock Motel. After my shower, I noticed a red bull's-eye mark on my chest. Unfortunately, it looks much like the bite mark of a deer tick, which transmits Lyme disease. I'll call the doctor and in Boulder tomorrow to see what can be done. Today's miles - 20.6. Total miles - 1568.7.

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