2024 Appalachian Trail – Day 5 – Great Barrington

Saturday – 22 June

Destination: Route 7 – Great Barrington (1528.0)
Start Location: Glen Brook Shelter (1520.1)
Today’s Miles: 7.9
Trip Miles: 43.2

Bob and I have discussed some changes to our hike place to accommodate the high temperatures and our schedule. To be safe, we have reduced our daily miles. So we have decided to hit some of the ‘must see’ locations and skip some sections. The plan is still in progress. Lots of variables like days between resupply, shorter mileage days, terrain, weather forecast.

As noted yesterday, Bob and I arrived at the Glen Brook Shelter just before a thunderstorm. The storm ended a little after five. We cooked (rehydrated) some dinner and filtered water and washed up at the abundant water supply. We were reminded that it was the weekend by the sounds of chainsaws and music in camp. Weekdays are always much quieter. Fortunately it quieted down around sunset – hiker midnight.

Bob called Papa Joe,a shuttle driver, about a shuttle for Sunday to near Upper Goose Pond Shelter, skipping about 25 miles of hiking. An instant response and we were set. We also checked to see if he could pick us up at the road crossing and drop us off at the Quality Inn where we planned to spend the night and resupply, about 5 miles. Parts of our plan were falling into place. Papa Joe also told us about potential trail magic at the road crossing before we were to meet.

So off to Great Barrington. Just under eight miles and almost all downhill. I naively thought we had an easy day coming. We had a 1,100 foot descent. The rocks that were grippy yesterday were slippery today still being wet from yesterday’s rain. More than one unplanned butt slide on our descent. This was tougher than yesterday’s climbs. The last three miles flattened out.

Bob texted Papa Joe when we were about an hour away. We decided when we meet Papa Joe that if he could shuttle us on Monday instead of Tuesday we would stay a second night at the Quality Inn and do a zero. A zero is a zero mile hiking day although we will walk to the grocery store to resupply and for meals.

As we got near the next road crossing, Alex, about ten, ran up to us and told us there was trail magic ahead. At the road crossing was an incredible setup under a large tarp. Hamburgers, hotdogs, snacks, drinks, phone chargers, everything a hiker could use. We had cookies and some iced tea. As good as a burger sounded, we didn’t want to leave our shuttle driver waiting. Several church groups sponsor the trail magic a couple days a week. It really makes a hiker’s day.

Papa Joe was waiting at the road crossing. He was able to shuttle us on Monday. Things are falling into place. The Quality Inn was able to add a day. That means no rushing.

After showers it was to UVA Pizza E Vino for two pies for lunch. Next stop the laundromat. Since we carry no spare clothing and want to wash everything, that means sitting in your rain jacket and rain skirt while waiting for your wash to finish. Not necessarily a pretty sight. Then it was back to enjoy air conditioning and relax before dinner.

Dinner was at GB Eats. Good food – brussel sprout salad for me, BLT for Bob. Short walk to make room for ice cream, dirty chocolate and fig. Some interesting flavors. I wasn’t daring enough to try olive oil balsamic or the goat cheese pistachio.

Doing a little planning and getting to sleep late tonight by hiker standards.

All photos up to date have been uploaded. You will have to go back to see each day’s pics.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Nicole says:

    Dear Al!
    I feel sorry for both of you. Heat and humidity !😝
    I remember that special bear mountain… some of the meanest ascents and descents on the AT! Your Idea of easing up a bit on your milage plan sounds good πŸ‘πŸ˜€ and familiar 😁
    I hope you can still enjoy beeing outdoors all day! Nice fotos! Beautiful flower and my blue spotted orange friends , too!🦎
    I wish you cooler weather and some more places with good food, maybe even ICE cream 🍨….🀞
    Happy Trails
    Nicole (Former “Trail Snail”)

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