Long Trail Congdon Camp

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Aug 9 , 1983 Tuesday (605.9 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

The descent from Greylock to Massachusetts route 2 was five miles of downhill. The last bit after the Wilbur Clearing Lean-to was particularly steep, dropping 2000 feet in two miles. The trail passed through the outskirts of North Adams and crossed over the Hoosic River on a concrete footbridge made for pedestrian traffic.

The trail ascends following Sherman Brook for about a mile, and a total of four miles of climbing out of the river valley brought me to the Mass/Vermont State line. Not only did this mark the end of Massachusetts and my eleventh state, but it marked the beginning of the "Long Trail", a trail that runs 200 plus miles to the Canadian border. The Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail run together for the next ninety-eight miles before the A.T. veers off to the right and heads toward New Hampshire. At the border I met Bob, from Knoxville, Tennessee on a short outing. We talked for a while before I hiked on to Congdon Camp ten miles farther on.

Now I was entering porcupine territory. Story has it that in this area you have to hang your hiking boots and backpacks because the "porkies" will search these items out in their nightly raids looking for food. Boots and pack straps have a buildup of salt from your sweat that they really go for. And just like the bears down in the Smokies, the porkies have figured out where the shelters and hikers are. Some of the shelters in the northeast have caretakers to help protect the areas from overuse and abuse. Congdon Camp happened to be one of them. I met Chip, the caretaker, and paid my $1.50 to spend the night. The shelter is roughly at an elevation of 2000 feet - not extremely high, but now that I was in Vermont, the weather had suddenly gotten cooler and tonight was quite cold. Cool enough that I made a note in my journal. Chip happened to be celebrating his birthday today and his sister and niece were up the mountain for a visit. Later on "Fish" and the "Awesome Robots" showed up. I hung up my boots and pack, which was nothing new, I just placed my boots in my pack and suspended the pack with the usual screwhook and cord.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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