Monday, 7/20

AT Miles = 15.8 / 1538.2
Other Miles = 0.5 / 52.3
Total Miles = 16.3 / 1580.5

Wow! The mosquitoes were something else last night. Right after dinner I climbed into my hammock intending to read my book, but the swarm of mosquitoes just outside of the netting was amazing. Even the noise they made was very distracting. So I gave up on reading and listened to my radio with the earbuds. With my eyes shut, I could neither hear nor see the vicious little bastards as they flung themselves against the netting in their attempt to suck me dry of blood.

I didn't even try to eat breakfast before leaving camp this morning. I shoved a Snickers bar and a granola bar into my pocket and took off, eating as I walked. I hiked the 16+ miles to the cabin here with only one break, which I took when the trail crossed a field at the top of Pine Cobble just before Tyringham.

With the lack of breaks I made it here in record time, but I was exhausted when I got here. Upper Goose Pond is a beautiful pond, and the cabin here is great. It was not built as a trail shelter, but rather used to be a private cabin that is now run as a hiker cabin. There are volunteer caretakers here and for a small donation ($3 for camping outside, which I am) you get the run of the cabin, spring water carried from across the lake in a canoe, and a pancake breakfast in the morning. There is a bunkroom upstairs in the cabin, but I chose to set up my hammock outside as I know I will sleep better there.

I took a swim in the pond after I got here, and I do feel better for having done so. Unfortunately the weather looks like we are likely to get a storm tonight. When the weather is wet I can't wash my socks, since they would never dry.

The mosquitoes are taking a toll. My ankles are an ugly mess of scabbed over mosquito bites. Why my ankles? I've no idea. I theorize that they nestle down in my socks where I can't see them, and suck my blood at their leisure as I hike along.

I expect to be in Dalton early on Wednesday morning. If I can find a place to stay there, I will take a zero day and catch up on laundry and other chores. My clothes haven't seen a washing machine since Vernon, NJ, back on the 4th of July.

"Home is where I hang my food bag"

Allen Freeman