Another gorgeous day was had in Massachusetts this past Saturday. Luckily David and I both had the same thought: we have to go hiking!
A little backstory: In 2005, David began the trek along the Appalachian Trail (an almost 2,100 mile hike from Georgia to Maine), but when he got to Virginia (about 700 miles in) he found out that his army unit was being called to Iraq. Since then, he hasn’t been able to finish it. He’s done a few day and weekend hikes along the trail in New England, but hasn’t completed it from peak (Springer Mountain) to peak (Mt. Katahdin). Now, his desire to through-hike is back in full force. He’s been trying to convince me to want to go along the hike with him, but there are a LOT of logistics to think of (money, jobs, what to do with Eleanor (she’ll be too young to hike), etc.). In order to get me familiarized with the trails, we’ll do more of these day hikes and perhaps some week-long hikes along the New England sections of the AT.
The drive to Mount Greylock State Reservation is about 2 hours from our house. The drive is gorgeous though and takes us through the Pioneer Valley and into the Berkshires.
We started our hike at Wilbur’s Clearing and the trail was about 3 miles, one way. We started at 11AM.
The start of the trail had a bit of an incline, then it got steeper, as we approached Mt. Williams.
The walk between the two summits was quite enjoyable and refreshing. David mentioned that more often than not, this was the type of terrain we could expect on the AT. That calmed my fears a little bit. A little bit.
The final ascent to the peak was steeper but luckily I was able to take it nice and easy and made it up. We reached the summit about 1PM or so. (2 hours of hiking up).
Along the way, we met up with some through-hikers, and we asked them how their treks were going. It was unanimous amongst the hikers: this trek had to be done. It was a life changing experience and something they will cherish for years to come.
There are two hand-gliders in the left picture above!
The weather really could not have been more perfect. The humidity was low, the bugs weren’t terrible, and the views were spectacular. The summit was super windy but it felt nice after working up a sweat.
The hike back down was quicker but descending has its own difficulties too. Needless-to-say my quads were killing me all weekend. We finally made it back to the car at about 4:15. The trip back home ended up being longer due to a road blockage with no detour offered. We aimlessly drove around until we were finally able to get on the main thoroughfare further up. We got home at 7:30 and relaxed with pizza, wings, and wine.
Before I met David, I was never really into hiking. I remember going to Mt. Monadnock with my 8th grade class, and I wasn’t able to get past the first real rock obstacle. I never would have imagined that I would love being out in nature as much as I do. It’s such a fun way to get in some exercise and take in the world around you. At first, I was hesitant to even discuss the possibility of hiking the AT, but it’s starting to become more and more of a possibility. Now if only we can get the logistics in order…
Do you enjoy hiking? Have you ever hiked the AT (Appalachian Trail) or parts of it?? Any and all advice is welcomed!