Ridge Runner AMC Appalachian Mountain Club

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Aug 6 , 1983 Saturday (635.4 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

From North Wilcox Shelter it was a mere four miles or so to Tyringham, Massachusetts. The first couple of miles took me through a nice area of pines before coming to a road that lead into the town. The evening rain developed into a morning of low lying fog that clung to the surrounding green pastureland. I thought I was back at Sages Ravine in medieval times when a white, castle-like church appeared out of the fog as I drew nearer to Tyringham. I arrived at the post office by 7:40 am, but the office did not open until 8:30. I took this opportunity to call some friends, but neither Fred nor Chuck were home.

A big running race was scheduled for today up Cobble Mountain, and many people were in their running outfits preparing for the ascent. I imagined that if I had a pair of running shoes, I would have entered and probably blew them all away. Running up a mountain without a backpack, and wearing shoes that were probably at least two pounds lighter would make the run a breeze. I regretted the fact that I did not have any running shoes.

I located a water faucet behind the white, city office building near the post office where I was able to fill my bottles. I also found out that hikers could stay at Mrs. Canon's for $8.00 bed and shower. Meals could also be arranged. I was not in need of any of these amenities, but noted them for future use. I also noted that I could pick up water at the Gaslight Motor Lodge Just beyond the Massachusetts Thruway that I would be crossing in about five or six miles.

The trail followed the road out of town for about a half mile before turning right and following a dirt road up past a farm house. From there it passes by Upper Goose Pond before intersecting with the Massachusetts thruway, and then US 20, where the Gaslight Motor Lodge sits. Another smaller road is soon crossed before the trail begins the climb up Becket Mountain. Becket Mountain provided the only challenging climb today and that was not much of a challenge. I began having thoughts of ending my day at October Mountain Lean-to, but while on the way up October Mountain I ran into Cindy, who suggested that was not a good idea since the shelter was located very close to an access road and there would probably be a party there this evening since it was Saturday night. Cindy worked as a "ridge runner" to patrol the trail for the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club). As a result, I decided to go for the campsite listed in the data book about three miles past the Pittsfield Road, which was only about a mile past the shelter. I talked with a couple of short distance southbounders while I took a break at October Mountain Lean-to before moving on to my proposed camping spot. I found a spot next to a beautiful flowing brook in a gulley below, and set up my tarp just in case it happened to rain. For some reason I had developed a pea-sized blister on the back of my right heal today. A minor annoyance after a twenty-three mile day.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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