The Appalachian Trail In Connecticut & Massachusetts

Monday, August 8, 1994 (Mt. Algo Lean-To) – I crossed the NY/CT border in low humidity and cranked out 21 miles – although I did not intend to do so at the start of the day. Got $1 of fuel just after the Telephone Pioneers Shelter at a house listed in Wingfoot’s Thru-Hikers Handbook, then took a long break at the Wiley (Wetbatack) shelter. There were jugs of water and tons of magazines in the lean-to, so I got rehydrated and read for a while. Hiked through the ten mile river area which was really nice. Then I crossed a covered bridge that was closed for repairs and walked across a beam with open views of the river below. The Country Mart Deli is located just past the bridge, so I stopped to spend $8 on groceries and a sandwich this afternoon. Spoke with the Waltron/CalciQuest office in Charlotte during the break and found out that Brett and Lisa were getting married this weekend. Left at 5:15pm with plans for Rattlesnake Den, but pushed on to the Mt. Algo Shelter which I made at dusk ~8:30pm. Squeeze Box, Mad Markum, Green Lantern, Highlander, Groovy Dude, and some section hikers were here this evening.

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night Low 80’s 50’s

 

Tuesday, August 9, 1994 (St. Johns Ledges) – Hiked the short distance from the shelter to the town of Kent, CT this morning and hit the outfitter, grocery store, post office, and laundromat.  The Motor City Ramblers and Pieps & Perma Grin also rolled into town this afternoon after some blue/yellow blazing,. So we headed to a bar and enjoyed a Happy Hour that ran from 4-6pm. Groovy Dude and Highlander joined us until about 7pm when we walked out of town. The plan was to follow the relatively flat and blue-blazed trail to the shelter, but I stopped to change batteries in my Walkman and lost the group while listening to Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself (from Snyder’s original tape mix). Without my A.T. maps (which I gave to the Motor City Ramblers), I managed to take a wrong turn and lost my way. Got guidance from a motorist who sent me in the direction of the A.T. and I arrived at the St. John Ledges by 8:30pm. It was nearly dark and the paltry beam from my headlamp wasn’t cut it.  So I pitched my tent next to the Appalachian Trail and enjoyed the two beers that I purchased for $2 during happy hour earlier this evening. Despite the mishap, I had an fun evening solo – cooking dinner, drinking my beer, and enjoying the views and twilight from the campsite. Played harmonica from the ledges for a bit and wondered if my thru-hiking friends could hear me in the valley below.

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night Mid 80’s 50’s

 

Wednesday, August 10, 1994 (Belter Campsite) – Caught up with the Motor City Ramblers and Pieps & Perma Grin at the Stewart Hollow Lean-To early this morning. Then hiked into the town of Cornwall Bridge, CT where we spent about four hours at a local Mom/Pop grocery. At the last minute, I decided to attend Brent/Lisa’s wedding in Charlotte and spent most of the time working on bus schedules, airline flights, accommodations, etc.  Mom & Dad were back in Ohio but got a neighbor to overnight an airline coupon from Hilton Head to Falls Village – so the wedding was officially a go. Perma Grin and I then walked the road and railroad track for 10 miles to Falls Village, then picked up the A.T. to hike to the Belter campsite. Met Pieps in camp and set up camp for the night. Two adults and one young boy were pitched just below us, and we heard yelling/screaming from their campsite at dusk. It turns out that W. Leonard walked into their camp, told them that they weren’t thru-hikers, and demanded that they “get the fuck off the trail”. One of the adults came to us concerned about their safety. So Perma Grin, who was familiar with the situation, convinced him that they weren’t in danger and calmed him down.   Leonard camped elsewhere on the trail tonight, so everyone settled in for a quiet evening.

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night Low 80’s 50’s

 

Thursday, August 11, 1994 (Adams Mark Hotel, Charlotte, NC) – I was up at 6:10am this morning and hiked to Falls Village in cool temperatures to get my plane ticket coupon by 8am at the post office.  It didn’t arrive overnight as expected, and I panicked a bit.  So the mailman got me a ride to the coffee shop on US 7 and I had an $8 breakfast while I waited for the plane coupon to be brought down to me.  A nice gesture – for sure.  The Motor City Ramblers with Pieps & Perma Grin in tow walked to the coffee shop by 10am and I enjoyed eating with them.  The airline coupon didn’t arrive until 10:30am, so I missed the 9:37am bus to NYC but was able to catch the 11:50am NYC Port Authority ride to the City for $29.  Caught a 5:55pm flight from NYC to Atlanta then went on to Charlotte where I was met by Lisa and some of her bridesmaids at the airport.  They were also picking up Jeff Salisbury who arrived on TWA at 11pm this evening.  We jumped into a very cool limo and were taken to meet Brett’s bachelor party.  I was out until 4am as a result – and the group included my former employer John Walsh from Waltron/CalciQuest.  Had a great time tonight and enjoyed dining at the Athen’s diner in the early morning hours.  Stayed with Brent, Fred Mileham, Bob Sar, and Jeff Salisbury at the Adams Mark Hotel tonight/this morning.  
Cloudy AM/PM (CT/NY)      Clear Night (NC) Mid 80’s Low 60’s 

 

Friday, August 12, 1994 (Adams Mark Hotel, Charlotte, NC) – Got my first shower in 7 days this morning, and hope I didn’t offend anyone with my thru-hiker stank last night.  I was up before the rest of the group this morning and had a solo breakfast at the hotel, then joined Lou Beasley and Bob Sarr at Roger’s BBQ for lunch.  Then spent the afternoon with the groomsmen who were picking up their tuxes for the wedding.  At 4pm, I hooked up with Lee Stephenson and Bob Satterfield.  Went to Celebration Station and had a blast with Satterfield’s girlfriend in tow.  Then went back to the hotel to get ready for a party thrown by John and Marla Walsh.  Kirk Andrews also rolled in tonight, so I rode with him to the event which was an awesome time.  There were tons of Sigma Chis and Lynks here tonight.  Late night we headed back to the hotel to hit the pool after a stop at Selwyn Pub.  Ended up crashing in Jane Mill’s room tonight.      

Sunny AM/Partly Sunny PM Hazy, Humid   Clear Night Low 90’s Low 70’s

 

Saturday, August 13, 1994 (Adams Mark Hotel, Charlotte, NC) – Had breakfast with Robbie Gomez this morning at Hugo’s Dinner then went to Outdoor Provisions and to see the movie Forrest Gump.  Returned to the hotel by 4pm, and hit the pool with Lee & Harriet Stephenson.  Tonya Harding was a topic of conversation with a recent release of her wedding night photos.  Elizabeth borrowed a suite for me to wear from her boyfriend, but showed up late with Perry and Mary Beth Hedrick.  So we ended up hitting the bar with Robbie Gomez and then headed to the reception.  Elizabeth was able to score me a suite, but her boyfriends feet were a totally different size.  So I ended up wearing my hiking boots to the reception this evening which made for a good picture.  The wedding reception was nearby and was a great time.  Made a late night run to Clarence Fosters to dance to 70’s music and it was awesome!  Liz Gardner ended up dropping me off at the hotel in the early morning hours, and Gomite offered to let me crash with him.  He wasn’t in the room when I returned, but security let me in after Lee Stephenson sucker punched me in the gut and I nearly passed out.  The security guard laughed hysterically and let me in to the room without Gomez present. 
Partly Sunny, Humid AM/PM   Thunderstorms Evening 90’s H 70’s L

 

Sunday, August 14, 1994 (Housatonic River Campsite) – I was up at 7:15am this morning to met John Wash who picked me up for breakfast.  He wanted to hire back to Waltron/CalciQuest in the fall, so I was pumped.  Caught a ride from John to the airport and flew out on a 9:55am flight to Atlanta then on to LaGuardia by 2:30pm.  Took a Port Authority bus from NYC for 2 1/2 hours north to the same coffee shop I left from last Thursday in Falls Village.  I was on the trail by 8pm with some cloud cover that made for a dramatic sunset.  Hiked 20-30 minutes on the Appalachian Trail to a site on the Housatonic River just north of the Mohwak Trail.  I camped tonight solo just south of Falls Village for only the 5th night alone on my thru-hike.  What a HUGE weekend! 
Overcast NC/CT  Thunderstorms CT 80’s H 60’s L

Monday, August 15, 1994 (Bear Rock Falls) – Had fantastic hiking weather today with cool temperatures in the morning, sunshine, and mid-70’s during the afternoon.  I am looking forward to the fall!   Packed up my tent at the river and hiked 9 miles in to Salisbury, CT.  Spent $22 on a sandwich and groceries – and walked in to town with W. Leonard who was decked out in a balaclava, long sleeve shirt, and gloves.  It was cool, but not nearly that chilly this AM – and I was immediately challenge on my thru-hiker status being a clean shaven backpacker.  Once I passed Leonards quiz, he immediately warmed up to me and was super friendly during a stop at the post office.  At 3pm, I ran into Nomad and the Wisconsin Brothers back on the trail and ended up camping with them at a phenomenal campsite just just past the Massachusetts border.  The site was on a ridge and in a hemlock grove – with a raging stream and outstanding views to the east.  Jive Turkey cowboy camped on a rock outcrop under the stars tonight, but the rest of us opted for our tents.

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night 72 57 (in nearby Windsor Locks, CT)

 

Tuesday, August 16, 1994 (Upper Goose Pond) – Nomad got me up at 6:15am to watch the sunrise from Bear Rock Falls and it was spectacular.  Got some great photos of Jive Turkey who was still in his sleeping bag and on the rock outcrop this morning – with the sunrise and mist swirling in the background.  Had an enjoyable day hiking with the group and pumped out 13 miles by 2:30pm.  Walked to a deli off US 7, but it was closed.  So we ended up at a nearby fruit market – where the Wisconsin brothers loaded up on fresh corn for the night.  Nomad and I decided to hitch in to Great Barrington, MA – since he was low on food.  We planned to stay for the night but got picked up by two twins who were on their way to camp in Vermont at a festival.  Hit a bar with them in town, then talked them in to joining us at Upper Goose Pond for the night.  Packed in a 24-pack from the Tavolis Tavern parking lot and there were many happy thru-hikers when we arrived at the cabin.  Had a great time with the group tonight.        

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night 78 50’s 

I later made up this section between US 7 and Upper Goose Pond in 1996 when I hiked  from US 7 to the Mt. Wilcox Lean-To and then from the shelter to Upper Goose Pond in June that year.

 

Wednesday, August 17, 1994 (Upper Goose Pond) – Decided to take the day off at the cabin today since it was such a cool place, and the lake is beautiful.  Nomad and I did some canoeing with the twins (Jenny & Julie) this morning, then Oskie and I caught a ride with them in to the Town of Lee.  Bid the twins farewell, then hit Burger King, the laundromat, and Pizza Hut.  Hitched a ride back to a side road near the cabin, then did some fishing with Tired Dogs from the canoe with no luck.  Late night was awesome.  Babbles brought back a case of brew, and a Dude named “Z” showed up with another 12-Pack.  Played drinking games and celebrated Eileen (the caretaker’s) birthday until ~1am with Babbles, Oskie, Stuffsack, and Tired Dogs.  We had really heavy thunderstorms this evening – and I was inside!  Man did it hammer rain.  Dr. Doolittle, Bones, and Big John Oregon showed up during the downpour and were happy to join the party. 

Overcast AM/PM  Thunderstorms Evening 70’s H 50’s L

 

Thursday, August 18, 1994 (October Mountain Lean-To) – Got a late start out from the Upper Goose Pond cabin this morning.  Babbles made an incredible pancake breakfast, then I took Raindrop (a Southbounder) across the lake in the AMC canoe to find a spring for water.  Raindrop is taking the week off to be a caretaker here and wanted to know where the source was for the cabin.  Hit the trail in the afternoon and hiked 9 miles to the October Mountain Lean-To – with some of the hike in a total downpour.  I got soaked in the process, but the rain only lasted an hour.  Had a fun night at the shelter with Tired Dogs, Stuffsack, Babbles, Oskie and the Wisconsin Brothers (who I played Euchre with tonight).  This is a cool shelter with bunks and an loft – where Oskie and Babbles pitched their tent.  Dried out a bit and had a fun evening tonight.  

Rain AM/PM    Cloudy AM/PM  Cloudy Night  70’s 50’s

 

Friday, August 19, 1994 (St. Mary Of The Assumption Catholic Church Hostel) – Everyone got a late start out of the shelter today, and we were on the trail by 10am.  Hiked 12 miles in to the town of Dalton – mostly with the Wisconsin Brothers – since Tired Dogs, Babbles, Oskie, and Stuffsack caught a yellow blaze into town.  Had beers with them in Dalton then took the $3 bus to Cheshire – hitting another bar between stops.  Stayed at the St. Mary’s Church Hostel tonight after getting dinner at an Italian place.  Had some more brews in town, and played drinking games until 1am with Jive Turkey, Stuffsack, and Tired Dogs.  What a great day! 

Mostly Cloudy AM/PM  Cloudy Night  70’s 50’s

I returned to Dalton with Sherese in April 1996 to day hike between Dalton and Cheshire with snow on the ground.  The trail legend Warren Doyle was just ahead of us on the A.T. and left an entry in the shelter register.

 

Saturday, August 20, 1994 (Mark Noepel Shelter) – Decided at breakfast that we’d spend the day at the mall and catch a movie.  Loaded up my pack, hit the P.O. then took a $3 bus ride for about 8 miles to the mall. Got there just in time for to see the 12:40pm showing of The Mask with Jim Carrey for $5.  Hung out at the mall until 4pm with Jive Turkey & Machine Gun (aka the Wisconsin Brothers), Tired Dogs, and Stuffack.  Had a great time, then caught the bus back to Cheshire.  Loaded up on stove fuel, then we were on the trail by 5:30pm.  Hiked about 5 miles to the Mark Noepel Shelter where I ended up tenting tonight.  Ran into W. Leonard again, but he was in good spirits this evening.  It was nice to have the MA ridgerunner here with us. 

Partly Sunny AM/PM  Clear Night 70’s 50’s

 

Sunday, August 21, 1994 (Willows Motel – Williamstown, MA) – Hiked 3+ miles to Mt. Greylock and the Bascom Lodge this morning in cool and misty clouds.  The hike actually reminded me of hiking at elevation in the Smokies.  Had lunch at the lodge with the group from last night.  Then hiked out with Tired Dogs and the Wisconsin Brothers listening to a number of tapes that Nikki bought at the mall yesterday. Hiked down to a road outside of Williamstown but got soaked while trying to hitch a ride in to town.  Some day hikers eventually picked us up and we got a room at the Willows Motel.  It was still raining, so we left our packs and took a cab in to town to do laundry.  Had $10 pizza with Jive Turkey and Tired Dogs, then the rain stopped and we walked back to the motel.  Got some brews near the campus of Williams College to celebrate Machine Gun’s birthday.  Then watched two episodes of the Simpsons and played Euchre this evening.  Despite the rain we had another great day on the Trail. 

Mostly Cloudy AM  Light Rain Early PM Thunderstorms PM 70’s H 50’s

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