Day 86 on the Appalachian Trail

Clay and I were up at 5:45am. I ate the Backpacker Pantry granola that I scored from the hiker box at the motel. The highly fatty granola kept me going all morning. We left at 6:30am and walked a mile through town to the trail. I headed uphill for a 1000-foot climb to a ridge then down the other side to Cheshire. Like Dalton, the Appalachian Trail runs through town. For some reason, I didn't partake of the delights of the Dunkin Donut shop, a mere 0.2 mile from the AT. From Cheshire, I started the 2300-foot climb to Graylock Mountain, the highest point in Massachusetts. Shortly after I started uphill, I called Betsy to ask her to mail my cold weather gear to Hanover, NH. Then I called Dakota Family Medicine in Boulder to request a prescription for doxycycline to be phoned to the Rite Aid in Williamstown. Later in the day, I found that my request got approved. Happily, the trail wasn't ridiculously steep except in a few spots. I plodded along under cloudy skies, which kept the air temperatures under control. I didn't stop for lunch. At mile 14 at a road crossing, a huge box was loaded with chips, cookies, brownies, while a cooler had sodas and beers. A root beer and a small bag of chips disappeared quickly. Onward to the Bascom Lodge at the summit where I got water and enjoyed a bathroom break. I met Clay at the lodge. We started downhill to the Wilbur Clearing shelter – three miles mostly downhill. I arrived at the shelter about 4pm. Other hikers drifted in over the next several hours. Today was wonderful, a confidence builder given that my knees held up well. Today's - 20.5. Total miles - 1589.2.

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