Day 72: Kay Wood Lean-to to North Adams, MA (26.3 miles)
Updated: May 10, 2019
July 23, 2004 - Woke up early since Dalton, MA was only 3 miles away. I could get real breakfast there. When I got into town I met an ex-thru hiker who told me the best place to eat cheap. At the Duff and Deli I had a full breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, and toast for $4.50. Ate my meal with a southbound hiker and his dad. Had a nice chat and the dad ended up buying me breakfast. That was cool. Then made my way out of town up a steep hill, most climbs out of towns are steep. Made great time all the way to Cheshire, MA where I mailed a week’s worth of journals. Then I was off to conquer Mt Graylock (3491 ft). Would have to climb 2500 ft over 7 miles which is something I had not had to do in a long time. The climb up wasn’t too bad, had a few steep spots but I was flying. Then I started to hear thunder and it began to sprinkle. It did that for about a mile. I got to the last shelter before the summit and had to decide to keep going or go to the shelter because there may be big storm coming. It seemed like the rain was over or it wouldn’t get any worse and it was only 3 miles to the summit where there is a lodge where I can eat lunch. I probably should have gone to the shelter because about 5 minutes later the skies opened up and it just started raining hard. What made it worse was the wind, blowing in just about every direction. Close to the top of the mountain it got very steep and there was lots of rain coming down so it was like hiking up a waterfall. Finally made it to the top and into the dry, warm lodge with a fire going. Got out of my wet clothes and into dry ones and put my wet stuff by the fire. I didn’t put on rain gear in the storm and the inside of my bag was very dry. I ate my lunch and talked with the other hikers, some made it to the lodge before the rain and some were like me having to hike in that huge storm. There was no lightning which was nice. Ended up hanging around 3.5 hours, but at 6 pm I knew I had to go because it was 6.5 miles to North Adams, MA where I was resupplying and another 1.8 miles to the campsite. It was a very steep and muddy descent down Greylock so I ended up getting to town around 8:15 so it was already getting dark. I had heard that you could camp at the outfitters in town but I had no idea where it was. I hiked the ½ mile to the supermarket and walked around and got what I needed, trying to avoid leaving because I really didn’t want to hike in the dark. As I made another trip around the place I had a woman say, “You must be a thru-hiker.” I said yes and she asked where I was staying for the night. I told her my story and she said I could stay with her and her husband, who are both thru-hikers, in their motel room but I would have to sleep on the floor. I jumped on that because no night-hiking, no bugs and I could take a shower. I went with them across the street to the motel. Ate my dinner while watching a NY/Boston baseball game. Then took a shower; that was nice. You meet the nicest people out here. Well, it’s bedtime for me. 26.3 miles on the day.